In Speech On The Senate Floor, Durbin Highlights Lower Prices For Insulin Through The Build Back Better Act

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) took to the Senate floor to deliver a speech criticizing the pharmaceutical industry’s price gouging for insulin, and highlighting how the Build Back Better Act would cap the cost to patients of insulin at $35 per month and dramatically lower the cost of other life-saving prescription drugs, despite opposition from Senate Republicans. 

Durbin referenced a USA Today article to describe how the price of insulin has increased to $300 per vial, despite the scientists who discovered insulin in 1921 selling the patent for just $1, because, “it belongs to the world.”

“One hundred years later, there are 8.4 million diabetics in the United States who rely on insulin—they have to pay...an exorbitant amount of money for a drug that supposedly belongs to them, according to its discoverer.  Patients and their families are shelling out hundreds of dollars, even if they have good insurance.  Rod Regalado is the father of a teen with Type 1 diabetes, do you know what he calls the insulin pricing system: legal extortion” said Durbin.

Calling upon the story of the Regalado family, whose son requires insulin as a patient with Type 1 diabetes, Durbin pushed back on McConnell’s stance that the Build Back Better Act is not a worthwhile investment.

“Let’s step back and measure the difference here. Should Mr. Regalado, a single dad, father of two, with a 14 year-old son who needs insulin to live, be paying $400 a month, or [as little as] $20 a month, for the lifesaving insulin? And to make up the difference, is it unfair to ask someone making over $400,000 to pay more in taxes?...I don’t even think it’s a close call,” Durbin argued. “The provision in law that we are trying to enact is in the same bill that the Republican Leader just came to the floor and told us America cannot afford.”

Durbin concluded by emphasizing the importance of human infrastructure provisions in the Build Back Better Act, including assisting families in paying for daycare and home health care services.

“What we need to have is a groundswell of support from across America. Take a look at the other provisions in the bill, helping working families to pay for daycare. There’s hardly a family around…that isn’t concerned about the cost and quality of daycare available. We have a provision in this bill, the same bill that Senator McConnell spoke against just a few minutes ago, to help families pay for daycare,” Durbin said.

Video of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s floor speech is available here for TV Stations.