Cost of Insulin
34.2 million Americans have diabetes and approximately 1.4 million American children and adults have Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. Diabetes is the #1 Cause of kidney failure, lower limb amputations and adult onset blindness. Attached is statistics from the American Diabetes Association about diabetes in Florida.
According to the Endocrine Society:
“Currently, 7.4 million Americans use insulin to treat their diabetes. At minimum, these patients use one vial of insulin each month. However, some patients require multiple vials of insulin or use multiple types of insulins (which necessitates multiple vials) each month. According to a survey conducted by the ADA, 27 percent of respondents stated that insulin costs have affected their past year purchase or use of insulin. Thirty-four percent of families with children on insulin were impacted.Those affected by rising costs were more likely to experience adverse health effects than those for whom cost did not impact their purchase or use of insulin and twice as likely to experience negative emotions like stress and anxiety. Many of these patients were also forced to forgo other needs such as transportation (32%), utilities (30%), housing (27%), doctor’s visits (32%), or other medications (36%), and were more likely to ration their insulin.”
For many individuals and families they struggle daily with this disease, there is no relief in sight. The cost of insulin, doctors visits and diabetes medical supplies continue to rise. Below are a few examples.
“A Yale study found that one in four patients admitted to cutting back on insulin use because of cost. The consequences can be deadly. A surprisingly large number of people with diabetes are using less insulin than prescribed because of the rising cost of the drug, putting themselves in danger of serious complications”. Read the article published in the NY Times.
One chart reveals how the cost of insulin has skyrocketed in the US, even though nothing about it has changed
Rachel Gillett and Shayanne Gal Sep 18, 2019, 4:42 PM
The list prices of some insulin’s have tripled over the past decade, and some people with diabetes are paying the ultimate price.
- The skyrocketing cost of insulin has become a crisis in the US. Some people are dying because they can’t afford the life-saving drug.
- In the last decade, the list prices of common types of insulin have roughly tripled, even though they’re the exact same products offered 10 years ago.
- In 2009, the list price for a 10-milliliter vial of Humalog, a fast-acting insulin made by Eli Lilly, was about $93. Today it costs closer to $275. Similarly, Novo Nordisk’s fast-acting insulin Novolog cost almost $93 for a 10-milliliter vial in 2009. Today, it costs about $290.
- The prices of Humalog and Novolog have essentially increased in lockstep. We’ve seen similar price hikes for Lantus, a common long-acting insulin made by Sanofi, and long-acting Levemir, also made by Novo Nordisk.
- Insulin manufacturers are facing mounting pressure to lower their list prices. Last year, the Minnesota attorney general filed a lawsuit against the big three insulin makers for alleged price gouging, and in February, Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced bills aimed at lowering drug costs.
- For the 1.25 million Americans living with type 1 diabetes, as well as some with type 2 diabetes, insulin is as crucial to living as air. Many people with diabetes in the US are forced to take extreme measures to stay alive while they wait for lower prices.
- In June, T1International published a survey that found that more than a quarter of people with type 1 diabetes in the US rationed their insulin last year, the highest percentage of insulin rationing of any high-income country surveyed.
- Insulin rationing is a life-or-death decision that has not come without its consequences.
- Nicole Smith-Holt lost her 27-year-old son, Alec, to insulin rationing two years ago. Alec was rationing insulin because he couldn’t afford it, and his blood sugar levels climbed so high that he developed a condition called ketoacidosis, which turned lethal.
- “He only had $1,000 in the bank, so he went home without insulin, and it looks like he was trying to ration what he had left until he could make it to payday,” she told Business Insider.
- Insulin prices have become so high in the US that some people are going abroad to buy the drug. Business Insider recently joined a caravan traveling from the Midwest to Ontario to find affordable insulin prices.