ADA Calls for Congress to Address Soaring Insulin Prices

The American Diabetes Association is asking Congress to investigate the soaring prices of insulin.
The American Diabetes Association is asking Congress to investigate the soaring prices of insulin.

HealthDay News -- Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Democrat, pointed out in early November that certain insulins had risen from $21 per vial in 1996 to $255 per vial in 2016. Others have taken notice of these increases, too. 

On November 17, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) issued a call for Congress to investigate insulin pricing and come up with solutions so that patients with diabetes aren't facing financial hardship when purchasing the medication. 

The ADA said that in many areas in Europe, insulin costs one-sixth of what it does in the United States.

"Reasonable access to insulin has become a problem for some people with diabetes. This needs to change and we are committed to doing our part to improve access," said a November 18 statement from Lilly Diabetes. 

The company said it is exploring different ways to help patients who need the most assistance, particularly those with high-deductible health plans.

Another insulin manufacturer, Sanofi, described the problem another way. The company said in a written statement that the list price for its insulin drug Lantus has not increased since November 2014. "In fact, the net price of Lantus over the cumulative period of the last 5 years has decreased because of efforts to remain included on formularies at a favorable tier, which helps to reduce the out-of-pocket costs to patients," the Sanofi statement said.

The statement added, "Sanofi is disappointed by recent decisions to exclude Lantus from formulary coverage. Health care professionals and patients should have a choice regarding their treatment and access to the right therapy to meet individual patient needs."

Reference

American Diabetes Association Issues Resolution and Launches Petition Calling for Access to Affordable Insulin [press release]. Arlington, VA: American Diabetes Association; November 17, 2016.

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