Insulin price probe

All talk - nothing will come of it

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I am more hopeful than you that we can makes some changes to help improve access to insulin. I realize, however, that we are up against the entrenched interests of three powerful multi-national corporations. They have unabashedly raised prices at breath-taking rapid increases.

Government intervention is one of the few ways that any moderation of these high insulin prices may occur. I think that the insulin market is broken. Those of us who need insulin to survive cannot exert any market feedback to these corps since we are forced to buy insulin for our very survival.

We as citizens must encourage our representatives to intervene in this broken market and start to rebalance the forces in play between manufacturers and consumers. That’s the method employed by most of the rest of the developed world. Maybe insulin makers need to be treated more like regulated utilities, like energy generators.

Nothing ever comes from our government discussing price reductions for meds. My generic of Celebrex went from $4 in December to over $38 this month. I decided not to get it again, due to the cost. My doc Rx’d me another anti inflammatory which I will soon find out what it’s cost is. I can’t take the cheap stuff like Motrin, naproxen, etc. They all kill my stomach.l


Minnesota has four bills in front of the legislature, including the Alec Smith Emergency Act.

Contact for GOP:
Contact for DFL:

Here are 3 that I found:

Recent Press Conference (Jan 9th, 2019):

I dont know what to do, other that write, call, and send them some positive reinforcement. It’s ok to show up at your state capitol and talk to them.


A few suitcase full of cash and all this will go away

My Senator - a liberal voted against drugs from Canada and took 476k from big pharma

When I complained he told me drugs from Canada are not safe - LMAO - Like the Canadians are falling over from meds

con/lib they are all the same

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How much cash do we have?

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Nowhere near enough

Had to attend a grievance hearing to get my Novolog paid for last year (severe Humalog allergy). Went to check on this year’s price. $545 for two vials. No way. And they wont revisit my situation, even tho a case nurse was going to suggest I still need some financial help.

Could we send them valentines?

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My guess is that nothing will come out of this because people love to dump on what they consider greedy manufacturers and I don’t believe that it is the manufacturers that are driving up the price of insulin. Insulin from these same manufacturers can be bought at 1/10th of the US price in countries such as Canada, China and India for the identical insulin. They are not selling in all other countries at a loss to subsidize the US. The Insurance companies in the US will beg the manufacturers to keep increasing their list prices in the US and then get huge discounts from the manufacturer when they purchase. That way the insurance company can crow that they are selling you $500 worth of insulin in the US and you only need to pay your copay of $60-$300. In the meantime they are only paying less than $50 to the manufacturer. The reality is that you are paying more in your copay than the price the insurance company is paying the manufacturer. It is all part of a huge game and I don’t see any way that going after the manufacturer (big Pharma) will make more than a very slim price improvement over the long run when the manufacturer is not the main culprit in this elaborate scheme.

Can you guess think of some catchy valentine slogans? I’ll draw some. We can print them out. If you think of a slogan, I’ll draw a valentine, then you cant print it out and send it. If you know where to assign blame, then it could be something, like, “Don’t let the insurance company destroy our love, Senator XXX.”

I still think it is the PBM (Pharmacy Benefit Manager) who sit between the insurance company and the manufacturer which are the largest issue.



Entirely agree. This middle man and their rebate structure entirely flip the competition model upside down… the competition is currently who can issue the largest rebate, which of course goes hand in hand with the highest price…

I think Lilly and Sanofi get their share too.

It would be nice if other insulin manufacturers would do what Mannkind is. Direct to consumer cash pricing for as little as $4 a day.

I’m sure they do… but I don’t think they’re the true culprit. The few shreds of truth that can be gleaned from the industry through the PBMs attempts to obfuscate the true prices seem to indicate that net price payments actually paid to manufactures of insulin have actually been decreasing for a number of years now… but the list price goes forever higher… why the disparity? The rebate process. IMO that is exactly where reform needs to start first.

If I say something costs $1000 but then secretly negotiate with insurers to pay them back $900— it doesn’t actually cost $1000… it just costs that much on the list and to someone without insurance. The pbm adds absolutely no value to the equation, they just cause pricing dysfunction and obfuscation. (Actual rebate amounts are unknown and are a protected trade secret)


It’s the obfuscation. If you knew what the transaction amounts were, you’d know what costs what. It’s not surprising that these amounts are difficult to discover.

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Then why can’t places like Wal-Mart or CVS just get direct supply from Lily, sell direct to patient, at a reasonable price. I doubt there is a PBM involved there.

Oh yes there are… PBMs rule the land anywhere there is a prescription required. That’s exactly why R and NPH cost $25 at Walmart if you’re paying cash—- because in that case no pbm is involved. And it’s impossible to know, but that comparison does make me think that this is probably about the true market value of a vial of insulin… $25