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A new white paper from the Congressional Diabetes Caucus reinforces what patients and advocates know all too well — the insulin pricing system is too complicated, the negotiations are too secretive and the cost for patients is too high.  

Authored by Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Tom Reed (R-NY), the white paper is titled “Insulin: A lifesaving drug too often out of reach.”  It identifies several drivers of insulin unaffordability:

The paper recommends several policy solutions:

While the report lacks a defined path forward, the Congressional Diabetes Caucus’ attention to insulin affordability is aptly timed.  The average insulin price has nearly doubled since 2012, putting “an enormous financial burden” on patients, as the paper acknowledges.  

One critical factor may be the role of pharmacy benefit managers, whose push for higher rebates can drive up insulin prices, hurting patient access.  Patients can easily spent upward of $600 a month on insulin, depending on insurance.

To learn more about insulin access, read “Protecting Access to Diabetes Care” or listen to Frank Lavernia, MD’s recent interview, “Why Isn’t Insulin Affordable?”, on the AfPA Patient Access Podcast.

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