Skip to Main Content

WASHINGTON — The drug industry lobbying association PhRMA sued the state of Minnesota over a newly enacted law meant to prevent people who can’t afford their insulin from rationing it.

The law, the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act, which is named after a 26-year-old man who died after rationing his insulin, allows Minnesotans who would otherwise forgo their insulin to immediately pick up a 30-day supply of the drug from a pharmacy for $35. Drug makers would be forced to provide the insulin for free or face hefty fines. The law was slated to go into effect Wednesday.


Activists fought for years to get the law enacted, and it is widely considered a model for other states hoping to help people afford insulin and prevent rationing. A federal version of the law has also been introduced by Sens. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.).

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!