California is set to make its own brand of insulin -- a lifesaving drug for the millions of Americans living with diabetes -- according to an announcement Gov. Gavin Newsom made Thursday on Twitter. It'll be the first state to do so.
The state will contract its own brand to produce insulin at a price "close to at-cost," Newsom said. A budget Newsom just signed includes $50 million for developing low-cost insulin and another $50 million for a California-based insulin manufacturing facility, he said.
"Many Americans experience out-of-pocket costs anywhere from $300 to $500 per month for this life-saving drug," Newsom said. "California is now taking matters into our own hands."
It isn't clear when the insulin will become available or how much it'll cost people who use it in California. But the cost of insulin in the US has been a significant barrier for many people who need it to manage their diabetes.
Newsom has had plans to start California on the path toward making its own prescription drugs since he took office. The Los Angeles Times reported in June that the state's generic drug label, CalRx, could begin producing insulin within the next few years. Additionally, the state may target other drugs that are either expensive or in short supply, according to the report.