facebook Congress investigates rising insulin costs. Will it make a difference?

BIG PHARMA POLITICS: Consumers pressure politicians to do something about rising drug prices. Read More

Congress investigates rising insulin costs. Will it make a difference?

Voices for Affordable Health has spotlighted the skyrocketing costs of insulin for some time. Many of you have shared the difficult choices you have had to make when the price of a drug you need to treat your diabetes is double what you paid a few years ago.

Congress may finally be paying attention. The influential Senate Finance Committee and the House Oversight Committee have launched investigations, StatNews reports.

“We are concerned that the substantial increases in the price of insulin over the past several years will continue their upward drive and pose increasingly severe hardships, not only on patients that require access to the drug in order to stay alive, but also on the taxpayer,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, wrote in a letter to the three big insulin makers.

In 2012, a person with Type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition in which the pancreas stops producing insulin, spent an average of $2,864 per year for insulin. By 2016, the annual cost had nearly doubled to $5,705.

A new study published by the JAMA Network finds 1 in 4 of 199 patients surveyed by the Yale Diabetes Center reported using less insulin than prescribed because of the high costs. More than a third of those people had not discussed this with their doctor.

“Our findings show that these are not isolated incidents and that skimping on insulin is frighteningly common. As clinicians, we have to advocate for change because the status quo is simply cruel and not acceptable,” Yale endocrinologist and senior author Dr. Kasia Lipska said in a news release.

Have you or someone you love been affected by rising insulin prices? Share your experience with Voices for Affordable Health.