Due to a recent rise in insulin prices many diabetic patients have stopped using this major life-saving drug. Insulin is a necessity for Type 1 diabetes patients and its price in The United States has been continuously rising since the past 5 years.
According to a new statistics from the Health Care Cost Institute, diabetes patients spent nearly $2,900 (approx. ₹2 lakhs) on insulin in 2012 and by 2016 it rose to $5,700 (approx. ₹4 lakhs). This is the annual spending on the drug and is quite expensive for many.
Due to this rise, the drug is becoming unaffordable. Also, the cost of living rose about 6.5% during that same time period.
Diabetes affects about 30 million (30 lakh) Americans. According to doctors, such a decline in insulin consumption might be life-risking to these people.
According to a study published by Yale Team last year, over 25% of people suffering from diabetes have reduced their insulin intake to almost half because of the hike in prices.
As stated in this study, the cut has been in the form of using less insulin than prescribed, trying to stretch out one’s prescribed insulin, taking smaller doses of insulin than prescribed, stopping the use of insulin, not filling an insulin prescription, and/or not starting insulin.
Hence, the federal prosecutor and 5 states are demanding strong reasons from insulin manufacturers on the price increase.
“The data we collected speak loud and clear to the fact that cost is a huge barrier to insulin accessibility. I hope this spurs more action to help patients afford this life-sustaining medication” said Pavithra Vijayakumar, co-first author, and Yale medical student.
This is not the first time that the price of insulin has risen. Before this, the price had jumped from $4.34 (₹310) per milliliter in 2002 to $12.92 (₹920) per milliliter in 2013.
Insulin is a life-saving drug and cutting on its usage at such a high frequency is very harmful to the patients. This is also harmful to the economy and demographic situation of the country.
Hence, there is a dire need to look deep into the causes of the rise in prices of this drug and to take measures to eliminate these causes.