Insulin costs have been climbing rapidly in the United States for the past two decades. Unfortunately, there seems to be no end in sight for those struggling to afford this life-sustaining medication.
The high costs have continued to rise due to the complicated U.S. healthcare system. These complications have led to people dying when they can not afford their insulin that is required to keep them alive .
Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and major insulin manufacturers have been discussing the options surrounding the skyrocketing insulin costs.
One PBM , Cigna’s Express Scripts, has announced that they plan to cap insulin prices at $25 per month per individual. This plan could help over 700,000 eligible patients.
Another company, Sanofi, has announced a similar plan that they call “Insulins Valyou Savings Program.” This program will provide a 30-day set of insulin doses, priced at $99 a month for private insurers.
The PBM companies negotiate drug prices for their insurers, and they have more recently been called out for negotiating rebates from drug manufacturers, then turning around and pocketing the money.
Some now argue that these PBMs are the key to negotiating these drug prices for their insurers.
Lowering the cost
These plans have the potential to increase insulin reach to 700,000 patients who previously did not have access or struggled to afford the drug. While this is good, it is still a small number considering over 30 million Americans have diabetes.
There are questions about whether or not these plans will actually move forward and stick long-term, but these moves are a step in the right direction. These companies stepping up to make a difference can also help hold others accountable and encourage other companies to follow suit.