Affordability of insulin has become a major issue for patients with diabetes in the United States. The price of insulin, particularly insulin analogues, has increased substantially over the past 2 decades. Pharmacy prices for 1 vial of glargine or detemir (long-acting insulin analogues) or 1 vial of lispro or aspart (short-acting insulin analogues) now exceed $170. Prefilled pen injectors are even more expensive. Insurance may cover some of the cost, but the burden is increasingly shifting to patients in the form of higher premiums and copayments. As a result, insulin analogues are not feasible for many uninsured or underinsured patients.
Kasia Lipska, MD, Irl Hirsch, MD, Matthew Riddle, MD