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New WA law caps cost of inhalers, EpiPens

Staff Report | March 27, 2024 6:01 PM

OLYMPIA — A bill signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday will limit the cost of some lifesaving medicines, according to an announcement from Rep. Dave Zpaul, D-Oak Harbor, the bill’s sponsor.

House Bill 1979, which passed both the House and the Senate unanimously, caps the cost of asthma inhalers and epinephrine autoinjectors for patients who have insurance that requires the patient to make co-payments or meet a deductible according to the bill’s official summary. The maximum cost that can be incurred is $35 for a 30-day supply of inhalers or for a two-pack of autoinjectors.

The price of epinephrine autoinjectors, sold under the name EpiPens, has gone from $100 to $600 since Mylan acquired the exclusive rights to sell the medical device in 2007, according to the announcement.

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

The bill goes into effect June 5.