Articles Tagged with insulin

MedicareJesimya David Scherer-Radcliffe, 21, passed away just a month after the loss of his health insurance forced him to begin rationing insulin to treat his diabetes. However, Scherer-Radcliff’s death is not the only of its kind, with insulin prices doubling from 2012 to 2016 causing many individuals to ration the drug.

Why have insulin prices grown exponentially over the past few years? There is no single reason, other than the privatization of America’s health care system which has allowed this practice to become standard. Many experts place the blame on large pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) like CVS Health. PBMs regularly work with pharmaceutical companies in an effort to reduce the costs of various prescriptions through health insurance, but this reduced cost can result in higher out-of-pocket expenses for those without health insurance.

“Every time a PBM extracts a deeper discount, an insulin manufacturer has the incentive to take a price increase to quote ‘make themselves whole,’” stated Rena Conti, a health economist.

insulinEli Lilly, a pharmaceutical giant known for their rapid-acting insulin, Humalog, has officially decided to release a generic version of insulin that will be nearly half the price of its name-brand product.

Not long before this announcement, many pharmaceutical leaders were gathered in order to discuss the issue concerning confusingly high drug prices. One of the main targets of this debate was the increase in pricing for insulin, in which people who have diabetes have been drastically rationing due to their inability to afford what they need to survive.

Humalog, one of the nation’s more expensive insulin options, has had a big increase in their cost over the years. Senator Ron Wyden states, “The list price of Eli Lilly’s main insulin drug, Humalog, went from $21 a vial in 1996 to its current list price of $275.” He then continues to question these actions by stating that, “Humalog isn’t thirteen times as effective as it used to be… A vial doesn’t last thirteen times longer than it did in 1996.”.