US government urged to cap soaring insulin costs

Jack Woodfield
Tue, 19 Jun 2018
US government urged to cap soaring insulin costs
The US government is being urged to take action over soaring insulin prices in America.

The average price of insulin has nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013, making accessing insulin very difficult for many Americans with diabetes.

The American Medical Association (AMA) is calling on the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to start lowering the price of insulin and monitor market competition in a bid to keep a tighter control of increasing costs.

Insulin is an essential medication for people with type 1 diabetes. Unlike the UK, where the NHS is largely funded by tax payers, US citizens must pay for their own medical bills and treatment either through insurance or via their own pocket. This means that diabetes is a significant financial burden for those in the US.

AMA Board Member Dr William McDade said: "It is shocking and unconscionable that our patients struggle to secure a basic medicine like insulin. The federal government needs to step in and help make sure patients aren't being exploited with exorbitant costs.

"The AMA also plans to educate physicians and policymakers on ways to tackle this problem, and transparency from manufacturers and PBMs is a good place to start."

The increasing cost of insulin is affecting both uninsured and insured people in America, and the AMA wants there to be more stringent monitoring on what pharmaceutical companies can charge for the medication.

A recent study has shown almost half of people with diabetes have gone without their treatment on a temporary basis because of cost and not being able to afford it.

The UpWell Health survey also showed that 43% of those with the condition paid up to $1,000 out of their own pocket in the past year for treating complications related to their diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) the national costs relating to treating diabetes have risen from $245 billion in 2012 to $327 billion in 2017.
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