LANSING — State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) introduced House Bill 4943 this week to provide Michigan residents with greater access to life-saving medication by requiring health insurers to cover the full cost of prescription epinephrine auto-injectors. Between 2009 and 2016, the cost of brand-name EpiPen skyrocketed as much as 500 percent, making it prohibitively expensive for families with no readily available alternative.

“Having access to prescription epinephrine isn’t a luxury, it’s a literal matter of life and death for thousands of Michiganders throughout our state,” said Pohutsky. “No one should be forced to go without the life-saving medication they need just because they cannot afford it. By requiring health insurers to cover the full cost of epinephrine injectors, the people of our state can finally focus on what’s most important — enjoying life without fear.”

Pohutsky’s bill introduction comes shortly after a similar law was approved in Illinois in response to rising EpiPen prices and a steady worldwide increase in food-related and other serious allergies. The bill was referred to the Committee on Health Policy for consideration.