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Price Of Insulin Almost Doubled Over A 5-Year Time Frame

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Type 1 diabetics who are taking insulin have to face the rising cost of the medicine, which, according to a study, almost doubled from 2012 to 2016.

A patient usually spends nearly $2,900 on insulin in 2012, but the Health Care Cost Institute report released on Tuesday showed that the average amount skyrocketed to a little over $5,700 by 2016, which highlights the growing concern over increasing drug prices. These numbers account for the sum paid by the patient and his/her health card and do not include rebates, which could help lower costs.

The increase in spending was propelled by the rising prices of insulin. It can also be attributed to the preference for more expensive types, although at a lesser extent than the hefty price tag.

Effects Of The Rising Price Of Insulin

The study also found that daily insulin usage only increased by 3 percent during the same period. As a result of the surge in the price of insulin, some families opt to ration the medication while others took their frustration to the streets and held protests outside manufacturers' headquarters.

Others chose to just cut back on using insulin, which doctors highly denounce. In a study released last year, it was found that over 25 percent of the participants who have diabetes underused the life-saving drug because of the soaring prices.

"These anecdotes are consistent with findings of researchers documenting price increases on diabetic therapies, specifically insulin, over the last several years," HCCI said referring to the hordes of families who came out to air their stories on the effect of the rising cost of insulin.

Insulin Makers

The swelling of insulin prices prompted lawmakers to look into the matter seriously. There is no generic option for the medication and so far, three big drug manufacturers Sanofi, Novo Nordisk, and Eli Lilly are the biggest players in the market.

Type 1 diabetes is a life-threatening disease wherein the pancreas does not produce insulin. There are about 1.2 million Americans who have the condition.

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