Have your patients noticed an increase in their insulin prices over the last few years? Several news reports like this one in The Washington Post are featuring patients and their stories of prices consistently rising. A news story from Rochester, NY reported a 43 percent increase in the cost of insulin over the past four years.
WebMD reports that the wholesale price of a 10mL vial of Novolog went from $116 in 2011 to $264 in July of 2016. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have asked the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to investigate the potential collusion among pharmaceutical companies who manufacture diabetes products.
Let’s have the tough conversation and be patient advocates to make it a little easier to live with diabetes.
In Mexico, Eli Lilly was previously fined for colluding on insulin pricing in 2010. In the letter, Sanders and Cummings state, “We are concerned that the potential coordination by these drug makers may not simply be a case of 'shadow pricing,' but may indicate possible collusion, and we believe this egregious behavior warrants a thorough investigation.”
I dearly love the local representatives from such companies as Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk and the educational literature they have produced for educators over the years. But with any good friend, there comes a time we have to have accountability and make sure we are all on the same page with a mission help patients with diabetes live healthier lives. I know there has been a lot of healthcare change in the past several years but let’s have the tough conversation and be patient advocates to make it a little easier to live with diabetes.
About the Author
Amy Campbell is a dietitian and certified diabetes educator. She currently works in public health in Lexington, Kentucky and has been working in diabetes for over seven years.