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November 18, 2017

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Advocates urge Sandoval to sign insulin prices bill

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The NV Diabetes Political Coalition held a rally at the Culinary Union Local 226 in Las Vegas on Thursday to urge Gov. Brian Sandoval to support a bill they say would help end price gouging for diabetes medications.

Updated Thursday, June 1, 2017 | 9:05 p.m.

The governor is considering a bill on insulin price transparency while supporters push him to sign the measure.

Senate Bill 265 demands that drug companies report to the state information related to pricing for diabetes medication, among other provisions. It’s been in Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office since May 27, and on Thursday the NV Diabetes Political Coalition held a rally at the Culinary Union Local 226 in Las Vegas to urge him to support the bill.

Sandoval has until the end of Friday to act on the measure. Union spokeswoman Bethany Khan said diabetes is a public health crisis that impacts almost everyone, and rising prices for the drug pose a challenge for many.

The culinary union’s health fund fully covers diabetes medication. Including union members’ dependents, Khan said about 135,000 Nevada residents have access to coverage.

Khan said others do not have the benefit of this level of coverage, and some ration their insulin or skip doses in order to handle the costs.

“We’re talking about friends and families who don’t have as good health coverage as we have,” she said. “It is really a community issue.”

Sandoval spokeswoman Mari St. Martin said the governor would make a decision on the bill before his deadline at the end of the day Friday. She said the hundreds of messages that have come in about the bill have been almost split between supporters and opponents.

“On big issues like this, where we get hundreds of emails and calls to both of our Las Vegas and Carson City offices, we usually keep a tally, and clearly there are some organizations behind both sides,” she said. “But it’s been pretty even, the constituent outreach.”

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