Skyrocketing costs for life-saving insulin - SpecialtyRx
September 18, 2017
Skyrocketing costs for life-saving insulin

The type 2 diabetes crisis is an ongoing concern in America. How can we better serve patients when insulin prices have nearly tripled?

It’s no surprise that diabetes is the 7 th leading cause of death of people living in the United States. Over the past few years, prevalence of the condition has rapidly increased in nearly every county across the country. And the problem shows no signs of stopping. The diabetes dilemma at a glance

– The worldwide insulin market was $24 billion in 2014. By 2020, experts predict the number to be double at $48 billion
– Roughly 29 million American adults have diabetes, and 29% of them are completely unaware
– More than 20% of all health care spending goes toward people diagnosed with the disease
– Back in 1996, Humalog (analog insulin) sold for $21 a vial. Today, vials of the same and comparable drugs sell for roughly $300. The average patient requires 2-3 per month Insulin innovations abound. So why are prices soaring?

Whether it’s attributed to our busy schedules, lack of exercise, the rise of obesity or fast food culture, one thing is certain: diabetes is a debilitating and expensive disease. Late last month,
Washington lawmakers sent letters to various pharmaceutical research associations inquiring about a new startling statistic. Insulin prices have tripled over the past decade despite multiple companies competing in the market.
“When there are competing substitutable insulins, pharmacy benefit managers are reducing insulin costs,” says the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association. “However, there are different types of insulin that don’t impact patients in the same way. As a result, drug companies have significant power to keep prices high.”
With more and more impoverished, uninsured and underinsured Americans being diagnosed with the disease, growing costs are a clear concern. As compassionate pharmacists and caregivers, we should continue to educate patients about responsible medication management. But when it comes to pricing, our hands are often tied.
SpecialtyRx remains committed to finding you savings despite this troubling trend Stay tuned for more up-to- the-minute updates on inflating insulin costs