Overpriced Insulin

Bella Maradiaga , Business Manager


     In the world today we have the problem of overpriced insulin- which is the lifesaving drug for diabetics, the drug has now become the poster child for pharmaceutical price gouging for this life saving drug that many as 30 million Amercians with diabetes rely on. 

     Frederick Banting discovered insulin in 1923 and he refused to put his name on the patent, because he thought it was “unethical” for a doctor to profit over a discovery that could save peoples lives. The question now is why is insulin so expensive then? Before the average price per month for the drug rose to $450, James Collip and Charles best, sold the insulin for a mere $1. Therefore everyone who needed the medication could afford the drug.

     Many ask how did it go from $1 to $450, well how companies justify their price increases, they say that insulin it is yet another example of a decades-old generic drug- of companies raising the cost of their products because of the lax regulatory environment around drug pricing. They are doing because the can. Now on the other hand members of Congress have been pressuring drug companies and pharmacy benefit managers to bring insulin costs under control, which have been somewhat successful. 

     By 2016 the price of insulin rose to $450 and the cost continues to rise so much so that now many diabetics are now skipping life saving doses. Now remembering that when the patent for insulin was first drafted in 1923 Banting refused to have his name on it, he felt that insulin belonged to the public. Now, nearly 100 years later, insulin is inaccessible to thousands of Americans because of its high cost.

     Now with all this being said some regulators, such as the Food and Drug Administration, have been working to streamline lower prices.  History has shown that their efforts are worthwhile: When cheaper generic options are introduced to the market, overall drug prices come down. A century after insulin was discovered, it’s about time we had one.