The American Diabetes Association (ADA) strongly supports the introduction of the Insulin Price Reduction Act in the United States Senate. The ADA thanks Senate Diabetes Caucus Co-Chairs Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) as well as Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) and Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) for their leadership in introducing this legislation, which will lower the cost of insulin for many Americans who rely on insulin to stay alive.
Between 2002 and 2013, the average price of insulin nearly tripled. For more than 7.4 million Americans, including all individuals with type 1 diabetes, insulin is a life-sustaining medication for which there is no substitute. The Insulin Price Reduction Act seeks to address the skyrocketing cost of insulin by providing incentives for manufacturers to reduce the list price of all insulin products to their 2006 list price. Importantly, these lower-priced products would not be subject to deductibles. Rolling back list prices for insulin products by over a decade will make insulin more accessible for many Americans, both insured and uninsured.
“Insulin is a matter of life and death,” said LaShawn McIver, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Advocacy for the ADA. “For the many Americans who cannot afford their insulin, the consequences can be dire, including dangerous complications and even death. The American Diabetes Association applauds Senators Shaheen, Collins, Carper and Cramer for their leadership to address this urgent issue. We implore all members of Congress to act swiftly to bring down the cost of this life-saving medication by supporting the Insulin Price Reduction Act.”
A 2018 ADA patient survey confirmed that many individuals who face high out-of-pocket costs for insulin are not adhering to their diabetes care plan—they are forced to either ration or forgo insulin doses to reduce costs. Insulin is essential to maintaining appropriate blood glucose levels and reducing the risk of serious complications such as cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney disease, amputation and death. When insulin is not taken appropriately, the risk of serious complications increases and could lead to emergency hospitalization and death.
The ADA continues to work diligently on the critical issue of insulin affordability. In 2016, the ADA’s Board of Directors released a resolution calling on all entities in the insulin supply chain to increase transparency in insulin pricing and to ensure that no one living with diabetes is denied affordable access to insulin. The resolution also called on Congress to hold hearings with all entities in the insulin supply chain to help identify the reasons for the dramatic increases in insulin prices and to take action to ensure that all people who use insulin have affordable access to the insulin they need. The ADA’s Make Insulin Affordable petition has achieved more than 487,000 signatures to date. In 2017, the ADA’s Board of Directors convened an Insulin Access and Affordability Working Group, and the Working Group’s findings were detailed in a white paper published in 2018 in the journal Diabetes Care. The ADA subsequently issued a public policy statement providing detailed recommendations to lawmakers. The ADA has also testified at multiple congressional hearings in 2018 and 2019 focused on the high cost of insulin. Resources are available through the ADA’s call center at 1-800-DIABETES, and at InsulinHelp.org.