Smith-Holt’s son, Alec Raeshawn Smith, was a Type 1 diabetic who died because he struggled to afford his prescription insulin 

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) announced today that she will be joined at the State of the Union Address by Nicole Smith-Holt, a Minnesota woman whose son died from diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) because he struggled to afford his insulin prescription. In the last decade, the price of insulin has tripled, putting this life-saving medicine out of reach for many Americans, like Alec. Under Nicole’s insurance, Alec had been paying $200-300 a month to manage his Type 1 diabetes. When he turned 26, he was forced off his mother’s insurance, driving the cost for his insulin to nearly $1,300 a month—$200 more than Alec’s biweekly paycheck from his full-time job.

“Nicole’s story is absolutely heartbreaking—no mother should have to watch her son decide between food and medication,” Klobuchar said. “Having Nicole join me at the State of the Union Address will shine a light on the critical need to bring down the cost of prescription drugs.”

“It has been our privilege to work with Senator Klobuchar on these pressing issues, currently more than 1.25 million people in the US have type 1 diabetes and a majority of these people are facing very real struggles with affording their insulin. Without affordable insulin a type 1 diabetic can and will die in a matter of 2-3 days just like our son Alec,” Smith-Holt said.

Klobuchar has long championed efforts to bring down the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. Klobuchar and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are the lead sponsors of the Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act and Biosimilars Act, which would limit “pay for delay” deals in which drug manufacturers use anti-competitive pay-off agreements to prevent or delay the introduction of affordable follow-on versions of branded pharmaceuticals, and the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act, which allow individuals to safely import prescription drugs from Canada. Klobuchar also introduced legislation—that has Senate 33 cosponsors—to lift the ban on Medicare negotiating for the best possible price of prescription drugs for nearly 43 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D. Last Congress, Klobuchar also introduced the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Grassley, which would address abuses and delay tactics that prevent generic companies from performing the necessary testing and distribution necessary for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Klobuchar and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) previously introduced the Short on Competition Act to allow the temporary importation of drugs that have been approved in another country with similar safety requirements and face little or no competition in the U.S.