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Minneapolis St. Paul News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | Minneapolis, Minnesota | kare11.com

MN lawmakers open discussions on high insulin costs

Nicole Smith-Holt said her 26-year-old son, Alec Smith, died last year because he couldn't afford the $1,300 he needed for his monthly diabetes supplies.
Credit: SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images
A medical assistant holds an insulin pen administered to diabetes patients at a private clinic in New Delhi on November 8, 2011.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota lawmakers have heard from patients and families dealing with diabetes that they need help with the soaring cost of insulin.

Sen. Matt Little convened an informal discussion at the Capitol Tuesday to gather information on what steps the state should take. The Lakeville Democrat says the cost of insulin is "immorally high" and there appears to be no rational reason for the cost increases.

Lawmakers heard Nicole Smith-Holt tell how her 26-year-old son, Alec Smith, died last year because he couldn't afford the $1,300 he needed for his monthly diabetes supplies.

Attorney General Lori Swanson is suing three big insulin makers, alleging they inflated prices through deceptive trade practices and consumer fraud.

The industry trade group PhRMA says consumers are paying higher prices because insurers aren't passing along discounts.