AHF: PhRMA Shows No Shame Suing Minnesota to Block Insulin Law

In Featured, News by Ged Kenslea

Drug industry trade group files lawsuit against Minnesota law establishing an emergency fund to help people with diabetes access insulin when they exhaust resources


WASHINGTON (July 1, 2020) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) the largest global AIDS organization, today condemned the despicable actions of PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) the drug industry’s trade association, for filing a lawsuit to halt the implementation of a new Minnesota state law to bring relief for people who would otherwise die without insulin.


“This cruel PhRMA lawsuit proves that the greed of the drug industry knows no bounds,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein.


The Minnesota State Legislature on April 15 enacted the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act, which established a program for patients with diabetes to purchase the insulin they need to stay alive.  It was named for 27-year old Alec Smith who died because he ran out of money and was rationing his insulin at the time of his death because he couldn’t afford to pay for a refill and had no health insurance. One in four people with insulin in the U.S. are now rationing their insulin because of the breathtaking price increases from drug companies Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. See details here:


The irony is the patents and intellectual property that developed insulin as a treatment for diabetes were donated to charity early in 1922.  By legal trickery these three companies acquired the patents and have steadily raised prices to a point where their rapacious drive for profits causes far too many tragic deaths due to rationing across the U.S.


“AHF is encouraged that Minnesota State Attorney General Keith Ellison (D) wasted no time in fighting back against PhRMA and is moving ahead to defend the new law,” added Weinstein.

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