Bill lowering the cost of life saving medication signed into law

OLYMPIA – Those dealing with chronic illness and allergies received financial relief with Gov. Jay Inslee signing HB 1979 into law. Sponsored by Rep. Dave Paul (D- Oak Harbor), the legislation caps the costs of asthma inhalers and EpiPens to $35 dollars for those with insurance. The price of EpiPens has gone from $100 to $600 since Mylan Pharmaceuticals acquired the exclusive rights to sell the medical device in 2007.  

“This is life-saving medication that has been around for decades,” said Rep. Paul. “It’s extremely frustrating to see out of pocket costs rise like they have.”  

Rep. Paul crafted the legislation through personal experience and with help from local members of the medical community.  

“Rising costs are forcing people to decide between necessary medication and paying other bills,” said Rep. Paul. “This bill is about saving lives.”  

The bill will also save money through preventative care. “This higher level of care costs everyone far more than the inhaler, including missed school days and missed workdays for their parents,” said Dr. Amy Garrett, a pediatrician on Whidbey Island. 

The bill goes into effect June 5, 90 days after the legislative session adjourned.