American Diabetes Association Calls For Investigation Of Skyrocketing Insulin Prices

Insulin injection pensInsulin, a life-saving medication used to treat diabetes, was discovered nearly 100 years ago, yet the price of the drug has now spiked by 700 percent in just two decades.

In early November, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Democrat, pointed out that certain insulins had risen from $21 a vial in 1996 to $255 a vial in 2016.

Some have likened the insulin price boosts to the recent price hikes for EpiPen — the life-saving medication needed when someone has a serious allergic reaction.

Edith Prentiss, 64, of New York City, knows all too well what the rising cost of insulin means for her. She needs insulin to treat her diabetes and stay alive, yet living on a fixed income has forced her to make tough choices on which drug she can afford.

“I have other medications I’ve been on for years, and as they became generic, they got cheaper. Insulin has never gotten any cheaper,” she said.

Others have taken notice of these increases, too. On Nov. 17, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) issued a call for Congress to investigate insulin pricing and come up with solutions so that people with diabetes aren’t facing financial hardship when purchasing the medication they need to stay alive.

The ADA said that in many areas in Europe, insulin costs one-sixth of what it does in the United States.