Insulin prices doubled between 2012 and 2016

Insulin prices doubled between 2012 and 2016

The historical excuse for pharma monopolists who conspired to rig prices on insulin was that hardly anyone paid full price — everyone got their life-saving, non-optional medicine through health plans that negotiated a knock-down price.

That was the line between 2012 and 2016, as median per-patient insulin costs rose 99%, to $5,705/year.

But now prices are even higher — and more and more people are paying full cost, as the monopolized health insurance sector has reduced benefits to insured people. The average insured person with diabetes is paying 60% more than they were in 2012 (and the rest of the increase is being borne by Medicare and employers).

People with diabetes are increasingly rationing their insulin, a practice that can be lethal.

Today, there are three insulin manufacturers: Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. The manufacturers make the drug, set the price and negotiate with pharmacy benefit managers, the companies hired by health insurers to manage prescription-drug benefits for beneficiaries.

“It comes down to pure greed,” Patterson said. “They are lining their pockets. They are making a profit.”

When questioned about their costs, the insulin manufacturers told The Dispatch that the majority of patients don’t pay the list price for the drug.

‘It comes down to pure greed’: Insulin prices double, causing many people with diabetes to turn to extremes [Megan Henry/The Columbus Dispatch]

(via Naked Capitalism)

Melissa Johnson
, CC BY, modified

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