Recently, we have seen EpiPen under attack for their steep price increases. It seems that insulin is now following in EpiPen’s tracks, and some lawmakers are calling for a federal investigation.
Diabetes is an all consuming disease that not only controls a person’s time, diet and lifestyle but also their wallet. With all of the medications required, diabetes is an expensive disease and the steady increase in the price of the life-saving treatment is generating anger in patients and lawmakers.
There are only three insulin manufacturers in the United States and each manufacturer has been steadily raising their prices over the years. According to NBC, since 2004, NovoLog has increased by 381 percent, Humalog has increased by 380 percent and Lantus has increased by 400 percent.
According to the Washington Post, a vial of NovoLog insulin costed $39.75 in August 2001. Fast forward to July 2016, and the price has jumped to $255 for a vial of insulin. As a result of this price hike, Senator Bernie Sanders and representative Elijah Cummings recently sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting an investigation into possible collusion between drug companies that make insulin.
In the letter to the Department of Justice, the lawmakers questioned the insulin manufacturers for their skyrocketing prices that seemed to have come one after another. Each company is now on the defense. According to Diabetes Daily, a representative from one of the insulin manufactures being criticized stated, “We strongly disagree with the accusations of the letter. The insulin market in the US is highly competitive.” Representatives from the other companies have also denied the accusations from the letter.
Just like an EpiPen injection, insulin is a necessary and life-saving treatment. Without it, fatal consequences can occur. As drug companies and lawmakers battle it out, diabetic families are growing concerned.
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