Medicine: State could be affordable drug maker

As the leader of Washington #insulin4all and a board member of Health Care for All Washington, I am working with our legislators to introduce a bill that will also allow our state to create its own generic prescription drugs.

Washington would contract directly with generic drug manufacturers to produce medicine for state residents. The public production of medicines like insulin could lower prices and increase access to life-saving drugs.

Although it may sound radical for states to make medicine, it’s actually not that unusual. California’s Department of Public Health has manufactured the only treatment for infant botulism since 2003, and in Massachusetts the state-owned non-profit MassBiologics has produced vaccines for over 100 years.

Last year, I testified next to an 8-year-old afraid of rationing insulin as we spoke in support of copay caps on insulin in Washington. I became friends with a mother whose daughter moved abroad due to the cost of medicine.

Washington has an opportunity to end all that doubt and misery while creating jobs in the pharmaceutical industry and generating revenue for the state.

On World Diabetes Day, November 14, please take the time to contact your representatives in support of this transformative step.

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