For diabetics, access to insulin is a matter of life and death and over the course of 2019, there have been numerous reports that show the increasing price of the medication is keeping it out of reach of patients. And some lawmakers are placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of drugmakers.
At the beginning of this year, cost analysis for insulin was released by the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute that showed the price of insulin doubled between 2012 and 2016. According to the report, an individual with Type 1 diabetes paid on average $2,864 for insulin in 2012 but that jumped to $5,705 by 2016. The sharply rising prices of insulin have caused outrage among diabetics, many of whom have reportedly been rationing their medication due to limited access from the prices. The high price of insulin has also gotten under the skin of lawmakers who have targeted companies that produce the bulk of insulin, such as Eli Lilly, Sanofi and Novo Nordisk. As an example, earlier this year, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson’s lawsuit against those companies over allegations of price gouging.
That anger from lawmakers has continued, particularly against Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly. This year, the company released its authorized generic version of Humalog, which has a price tag 50% cheaper than the branded drug. When Lispro was launched, Lilly said it planned to work with various health plans and the government to “work toward permanent solutions that will help every person with diabetes afford their medicines.” Insulin Lispro Injection has a list price of $137.35 per vial and $265.20 for a package of five KwikPens. However, an analysis of sales has shown that the cheaper option called Lispro is not getting into the hands of patients and the concern for rationing and high prices has not been quelled. Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported that many members of the U.S. Senate have suggested that Eli Lilly has failed to live up to its promise of delivering cheaper insulin, primarily due to a lack of “aggressive” marketing for the half-price insulin option.
Read more about the anger over the high cost of insulin on the Biospace.com website HERE