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California wants to lower insulin prices by making its own

Insulin prices have risen dramatically over the past several years. A nonprofit called the Health Care Cost Institute says prices doubled between 2012 and 2016.

Some patients report paying upwards of $1,000 per month for their insulin. Earlier this year, the U.S. House passed a bill to cap insulin prices at the lower of either $35 per month, or 25% of a health plan’s negotiated price.

But one of Arizona’s neighbors isn’t waiting for federal authorities to act.

California wants to lower costs for its residents by making and distributing its own insulin. Officials in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration have told Angela Hart of Kaiser Health News they believe that would lead to the price of insulin falling “significantly,” and would be widely available within two to three years.

Hart is a senior correspondent with Kaiser Health News who covers health care politics and policy in California and the West. The Show spoke with her about how exactly California is planning to do this.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.