Insulin Prices Continue to Rise as Costs to PBMs Fall

Jul 12, 2021 by David Wood

Insulin Prices Continue to Rise as Costs to PBMs Fall
Insulin On Table
“The U.S. represents only 15% of the global insulin market, but generates nearly 50% of the industry’s insulin revenue.”

This shocking stat comes from an article on insulin price inflation that was published by Forbes earlier this year.

The article calls to attention the discrepancies between the rising prices of insulin to the user and the falling net costs of insulin to pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). This cost reduction is fueled in large part by steep rebates that are not being passed on to the customer.

The rising price of insulin has huge implications on those who rely on these products to stay alive, as the article is quick to point out.

“Roughly a quarter of diabetic patients dependent on insulin skimp or even skip doses altogether.”

The article concludes by outlining a “multi-pronged” approach to reigning in the ever-rising prices of insulin. What this plan fails to take into account is the need for more competition within the insulin market. 

Increasing access to health insurance and passing rebates onto customers will help make insulin more affordable to many. But the only thing that can truly drive down the list price of these products is a similar product, that is just as effective, being marketed at a lower price.

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