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

“I think greed is a huge problem”

When the price of insulin more than doubled between 2012 and 2017, the increase caught the attention of patients and policymakers alike. Since then, the cost of the drug used by millions of diabetics nationwide has been much debated and discussed.

Meanwhile, costs of other life-saving prescription medicines have quietly increased exponentially. For example, Colorado farmer Michael Costanzo recently told Kaiser Health News that an IV infusion he needs to treat his multiple sclerosis rose from about $6,500 per dose to more than $10,000.

Now Costanzo has to dig deep to pay what his health insurance doesn’t for the same, 20-year-old drug.

“Why does it have to increase in price all of a sudden?” Costanzo told Kaiser Health News. “I think greed is a huge problem.”

Several states have proposed caps on insulin costs, but there appears no solution in sight for the soaring costs of prescription medications across-the-board. Kaiser Health News reports the underlying problem is that lawmakers spent much of last year disagreeing about whether the federal government should cap or otherwise regulate drug pricing.

As the debate continues, a 2019 survey published by the Journal of American Medicine found the costs of the 17 best-selling, brand-name drugs doubled between 2012 and 2017.

Voices for Affordable Health wants to hear from you. Have your drug costs increased substantially? Do you have any hope that the federal government will bring relief? Share your comments and stories with us.