I applaud the push to rein in insulin prices [“Lawmakers scrutinize cost of insulin,” news, June 23]. In Nevada, we are way ahead of Washington when it comes to sending a message to Big Pharma that enough is enough.
This month, the Republican governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval, signed a first-in-the-nation insulin pricing transparency law. The political power behind the law’s passage included an unprecedented coalition of big business, labor unions (led by Unite Here) and citizen advocates.
The new law requires manufacturers to report their costs for producing and marketing insulin and requires pharmaceutical sales representatives to report interactions with doctors, including whom they visited and what gifts they gave.
Big Pharma wasn’t happy. Mark my word: It will do anything to make sure this legislation does not become a model for other states — and certainly not in Congress. It was no easy fight. Our coalition banded together to make it happen against a flood of more than 70 pharmaceutical lobbyists and gross amounts of money.
We won’t stop with Nevada and can’t wait for Washington. We’re building momentum for laws to end health-care price-gouging across the country, and are taking the fight to the states. Similar legislation is moving in the California and Oregon legislatures. Corporate special interests may control health-care policymaking now, but they are no match for working families.
Donald “D.” Taylor, Las Vegas
The writer is president of the hospitality workers union Unite Here.