Wednesday Aug 17, 2022
Wednesday Aug 17, 2022

Why is insulin so expensive and difficult to cap?


Nepalnews
AP
2022 Aug 05, 16:30,
Insulin is displayed at Pucci's Pharmacy in Sacramento, Calif., July 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

The price of the 100-year-old drug has more than tripled in the last two decades, forcing the nation’s diabetics to pay thousands of dollars a year for the life-saving medication.

Some people on private insurance pay hundreds of dollars monthly for the drug. For most Medicare beneficiaries, the average out-of-pocket cost per insulin prescription was $54 in 2020 — an increase of nearly 40% since 2007, a study released last month by the Kaiser Family Foundation found. Others live in one of 22 states where the copay for a 30-day supply has been capped between $25 to $100.

The cost has led some to use less insulin than their doctor prescribes or postpone paying for other medical care.

Only three manufacturers — Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi — produce insulin, allowing those companies to control much of the market.

“They’ve been historically raising their list prices for their respective products in lockstep with one another,” Dr. Jing Luo, a professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, said. “There hasn’t been a lot of pricing pressure.”

And making a generic drug for insulin hasn’t been easy, with new manufacturers having to clear regulatory hurdles and questions over how a generic drug should be categorized, Luo added. A generic insulin is slated to come on the market in 2024 at no more than $30 a vial, which could drive down some of the price.


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diabetes Insulin drug price
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