Why are insulin pumps more expensive than used cars?

This used honda civic cost as much as an insulin pump.
Are we pumpers being gouged by pump manufacturers?

An 8000 dollar pump prob cost 100 bucks to make (if that)

the other 7900 goes for nice color brochures


Cars has tons of parts metals, plastic, alloys, computer systems, safety features, versus a few plastic parts and simple computer board for the pump.

The $8-10k price for pumps is the insurance price, pre-inflated to allow for insurance company discounts. The actual cash price of most tubed pumps is < $4500 tax title and license.


Nice 4-color brochure with good registration & glossy card stock–you think that grows on trees? Well, I guess it does, sorta. But anyway, if they could just get us to buy the things without all that high-end marketing collateral they’d be more affordable. It’s our fault.


Pumps are priced way too high. The people I feel suffer the most are the people with diabetes without insurance coverage who would otherwise benefit from using a pump.

Yet there are tens of thousands of perfectly operational used pumps sitting in drawers and on shelves. These pumps have been “retired” due to the arrival of a new pump bought mostly with insurance proceeds.

Why can’t we, those of us who must live with diabetes, find a way to share this grossly under-used resource?

I’ve used pay-it-forward web sites to secure a few of these older pumps for my do-it-yourself closed loop system. While the loopable pumps are becoming harder to find, the non-loopable ones are much more plentiful and going to waste gathering dust.

Why can’t these used pumps be put into service by people who can’t afford the astronomically inflated high price of a new one? I know there are reasonable concerns due to prescriptions and liability, but I think these reasons could be addressed and overcome.


Well…don’t forget about the cost to develop it, have it tested, and the exorbitant cost of getting FDA approval. Needing to test it in all kinds of clinical trials, in all kinds of scenarios. All of that testing costs money. Paying their support people to answer the phone 24 hours a day when people have problems or their pump falls off. Having to pay the cost of replacing defective infusion sets or ones that fall off before 3 days. Having to pay their own insurance fees and lawyers for contingencies if something goes wrong, or if someone possibly does something stupid with the pump. Needing the cost to recover replacements for defective units, since they come with a 4 year warranty.

You aren’t just paying for a few pieces of plastic and electronic components, there are other costs associated with the pump.


What people are not considering when they complain about the cost of a pump is that they are not paying for just one pump. They are paying for all the costs that went into making that pump something that they could buy. Same with insulin.



All that cost was made up by some companies peddling sensors that did not work for most people ( a mass consumer fraud that should be at the top of the list for all frauds - just my opinion - sure all that customer support is needed to keep the ones that called on the phone for an hour with senseless questions - never mind all the support needed to overbill me and take a year and half and 30 calls to make it right while at the same time harassing me for the payment

I will go cry me a river for all the development costs and staffing needs

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I have a prescription for a pump and because of Medicare C Pep rules I’m a tenth shy of their mark. I have a used pump from my Dad. I had my Endo spec it out and get me going. Sadly, it’s an Animas Ping and I’m once again looking at ‘finding’ another pump til I fail the C Pep. I can’t afford a new pump out of pocket on top of insets and reservoirs. I can’t afford not to use the pump health wise. :pensive:


Exactly the point I was trying to make. There are many people like you who would benefit from a pump. And there are many working pumps sitting unused in storage.

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Why does a tiny bit of perfume cost as much as $12K per ounce?

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I think if one found a pump the tubing and such would still be prohibitive

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I’ve read about people who are not insurance-eligible for a pump but are covered for the supplies. I believe that’s true in some Canadian provinces. It may also be true that someone who cannot afford the $6-8k for a pump but can manage the supply cost.

Funny thing is too, that the “new” pumps are EXACTLY like the “old” ones. Except with super pointless changes. Like asking if you’re disconnected when you go to prime. Thanks. Such a freaking useful update. I recently got a new pump because mine crapped out, and when I set up the date it asked me if it was 2008. I was like wow.

It’s not just pumps. Why does any sort of assistive/medical technology cost so much? I know virtually nothing about economics, but I though that the small market had at least something to do with it.

I mean, I carry at least $15,000-$20,000 worth of diabetes and low vision / blindness devices with me on a regular basis. Why do braille displays, braille embossers, video magnifiers, and even computer software cost thousands of dollars for people with disabilities? And that’s without insurance covering any of it, because it’s not prescribed by a doctor. At least insulin pumps have insurance companies and government programs covering them a lot of times.

I always thought it was just the small market. And, yeah, companies getting greedy as well. But mostly the small market.

Sometimes you can get a small cash discount from suppliers. Medicare has blocked my secondary insurance because they follow Medicare rules. Sometimes you meet people with surplus moving back to MDI or other pumps. I’ve been lucky in 14 months to have that route. But, with Animas gone and their pumps being Luer Lock…supplies will begin drying up. At least I my immediate area of residence.

I’m hoping my next C Pep will be enough. Amazing how a TENTH of a point can make a difference. Once that happens my current worries will be less. At least pump, supplies and strips wise.

Diabetes shouldn’t be a cash cow for big suites.:frowning:

But with

Is there anything that you could do to help nudge that c-peptide number under the benefit limit? Perhaps some fasting or eating very low carbohydrate right before your blood draw could help skew your c-peptide just a bit lower.

Have you done any google searches like, “how to depress c-peptide on a blood draw”?

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Oh yes! The forum here has been awesome in the shared info. I lurk mostly. I fast 16 hrs last month and I’m low carbed since 2000. My numbers swing in response to my Lupus and pain condition. Coming in a tenth shy surprised and disappointed me. I’m not making as much as we thought. And what I do make happens randomly. I’m trying again in August and my Endo said he’d work on ‘some stuff’ because he’s already dumped his Animas software so I’m his only Pinger. :grin::woman_shrugging:t3:

Because people will pay that much for it.