Endocrine Society urges Congress to pass bill to make insulin more affordable for people with diabetes
The Endocrine Society announces its endorsement of the bipartisan insulin bill introduced by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) that would take steps to reduce out-of-pocket costs of insulin, the escalating price of insulin, and formulary management for people with diabetes.
The INSULIN Act aligns with recommendations in the Society’s Insulin Access and Affordability Position Statement, which recommends ways to lower the price of insulin through rebate reform and limiting co-pays to no more than $35 per month for insulin.
The bill proposes several ways for the government to improve insulin access and affordability including:
- Ensuring insurance plans and pharmacy benefit managers cannot collect rebates on insulins that limit list price to the 2021 net prices for Medicare Part D or equivalent levels, which would significantly reduce insulin’s soaring price tag for both the insured and the uninsured;
- Making insulin eligible for cost-sharing protections, including waiving any applicable deductible and limiting copays or coinsurance to no more than $35 per month, or 25% of list price;
- Supporting patient access to insulin by ensuring coverage and that prior authorization, step therapy or other medical management requirements cannot be imposed to limit beneficiary use;
- Making sure group and individual health plans waive any deductible and limit cost-sharing to no more than $35 per month or 25% of list price, for at least one insulin of each type and dosage form.
“This bill is about our patients and making insulin affordable for them. The Endocrine Society urges the Senate to pass this bill quickly. People with diabetes who rely on insulin cannot wait any longer. We are very grateful to Senators Shaheen and Collins for their leadership and persistence in identifying a bipartisan solution,” said Joshua Joseph, M.D., Endocrine Society Clinical Affairs Core Committee Chair.
The discovery of insulin occurred over a century ago, however, the price of insulin nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013, and the trend upward has continued over the past decade. This has resulted in some people with diabetes being forced to ration their medication, which has resulted in them becoming sicker and in some cases even dying. Lack of access to affordable insulin will only become more dire the longer Congress waits to act to reduce patient costs. Efforts to address insulin prices have been stalled in the Senate for months. The House of Representatives passed the Affordable Insulin Now Act in March.