With insulin prices soaring, Tampa lawmaker urges colleagues to put people over profits

Emmabella Rudd has lived with type 1 diabetes since she was 5. The Florida State University student from Sarasota considers herself a lucky one. Her insulin is covered by her parents' insurance.

"If any type 1 goes without insulin for just a couple of hours, we could be in a life-threatening condition," Rudd said. "Currently you can show up at the pharmacy and not really know what it is going to cost."

For some, even with insurance, insulin can cost more than $1,000 a month. Rudd is an advocate for the group Insulin 4 All, which aims to make the medication affordable for everyone.

For the third year in a row, State Sen. Janet Cruz (D-Tampa) has joined that push, promoting a bill to cap insulin co-pays at $100 a month.

"In my opinion, it is just criminal what is happening here," said Cruz.

She says the bill has won unanimous votes in several committees, only to be tabled by House leadership. She suspects concerns from the drug lobby make it an untouchable third rail.

"We will continue to fight and try to negotiate so that we can get somewhere on this bill," said Cruz.

As the bill again begins its trek through the committee process, Rudd joined the senator for a press conference in Tallahassee to begin the push for new momentum.

"It is going to take people opening their mind to say, ‘Hey listen, the insurance companies, these pharmaceutical companies are not as important as the people who are your constituents that are suffering with this,’" said Cruz.

The speaker of the house's office did not immediately respond to FOX 13's request for comment about the future of this bill, which does not yet have a date for a hearing.