Information for Legislators About the Insulin Price Crisis

Across the United States, lawmakers have recognized the need for change as their constituents struggle to access and afford their essential medications, especially insulin. The insulin crisis is forcing patients to resort to drastic measures to stay alive. Countless people have to choose between buying their insulin and paying their rent, buying food, or other unthinkable sacrifices.

Insulin is like oxygen for someone with type 1 diabetes, and over 7 million Americans rely on injected insulin to stay alive and healthy.

  • Since the 1990s, the cost of insulin has increased over 1,200%, yet the cost of production for a vial of analog insulin is between $3.69 and $6.16.
  • A study of rising drug prices over the decade ending in 2018 found that list prices of insulins increased by 262%, with net prices increasing by 51%.
  • One of every four patients with type 1 diabetes has had to ration their insulin due to cost. Many have died.
Patient Voices Matter

It’s important that legislators speak directly with patients. If you haven’t heard from members of your constituency who have been affected by high insulin prices, get in touch with T1International. We can help connect you to patients in your state. You can also try reaching out to them via social media using the #insulin4all hashtag. This is an issue that affects patients and families in every constituency, and hearing from them will be a huge benefit to your policy-making.

Legislative Action

Senators and Representatives have introduced bills at both the federal and state levels to address the drug cost crisis in the United States. States have yet to fully embrace their authority in reining in prescription drug prices, but state officials have considerable opportunity to reform drug pricing. There are a variety of legislative options that can help patients with type 1 diabetes for the long-term. 

T1International Chapters across the USA are working with their legislators to take action and address insulin access issues.

The Role of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs)

We recognize that PBMs and rebates are an important part of the drug pricing issue, and that they share part of the blame when it comes to affordable prescription drug prices. However, we feel strongly that the focus should remain on the root cause of the crisis, which is list prices set by the manufacturers. If we spend too much time and focus on PBMs, patients still suffer and the 90% of the problem - pharmaceutical companies - remains unchecked.