As Prices Soar, ADA Calls for Access to Affordable Insulin

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As Prices Soar, ADA Calls for Access to Affordable Insulin
As Prices Soar, ADA Calls for Access to Affordable Insulin

TUESDAY, Nov. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- 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.

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 patients with diabetes aren't facing financial hardship when purchasing the medication. The ADA said that in many areas in Europe, insulin costs one-sixth of what it does in the United States.

"Reasonable access to insulin has become a problem for some people with diabetes. This needs to change, and we are committed to doing our part to improve access," said a Nov. 18 statement from Lilly Diabetes. The company said it is exploring different ways to help patients who need the most assistance, particularly those with high-deductible health plans.

Another insulin manufacturer, Sanofi, described the problem another way. The company said in a written statement that the list price for its insulin drug Lantus hasn't increased since November 2014. "In fact, the net price of Lantus over the cumulative period of the last five years has decreased because of efforts to remain included on formularies at a favorable tier, which helps to reduce the out-of-pocket costs to patients," the Sanofi statement said. The statement added, "Sanofi is disappointed by recent decisions to exclude Lantus from formulary coverage. Health care professionals and patients should have a choice regarding their treatment and access to the right therapy to meet individual patient needs."

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