The human cost of high insulin prices

  • The global insulin market is dominated by three companies: Eli Lilly, the French company Sanofi and the Danish firm Novo Nordisk.
  • In the past decade alone, U.S. insulin list prices have tripled, according to an analysis of data from IBM Watson Health
  • According to IBM Watson Health data, Sanofi’s popular insulin brand Lantus was $35 a vial when it was introduced in 2001; it’s now $270. Novo Nordisk’s Novolog was priced at $40 in 2001, and as of July 2018, it’s $289.
  • Stories of people rationing insulin and dying as a result continue to appear in the media.
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Pharma’s inexcusable pricing of insulin

  • A study showing that one in four insulin-treated patients surveyed at an urban US diabetes center were found to be cutting back on insulin use because of cost has been published.
  • The survey results also reveal that cost-related insulin underuse was associated with worse glycemic control and that more than a third of patients did not discuss the insulin underuse with their clinicians.
  • Of those who completed the survey, 25.5% (51) reported cost-related insulin underuse.
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