Insulin prices in the United States have risen dramatically in recent years, yet pharmacies cannot provide a stable price for a given insulin due to factors that are not widely understood.
The increasing cost of prescription drugs in the United States has become a source of concern for patients, prescribers, payers, and policy makers.
Even as a medical student, I was interested in the history of insulin. As an endocrine fellow, I read The Discovery of Insulin by Michael Bliss.
A recent study demonstrated widespread substitution of analog for human insulin and rising out-of-pocket costs in privately insured people with type 2 diabetes in the United States.
The cost of management of complications from diabetes in the USA amounted to US$263 billion (about £171 billion) in 2013, up from $92 billion (about £60 billion) in 2002.
Insulin is a vital medicine for patients with diabetes mellitus. Newer, more expensive insulin products and the lack of generic insulins in the United States have increased costs for patients and insurers.
In 2012, an estimated 29 million individuals, or 9.3% of the US population, had diabetes, with 30.8% of these patients using insulin.
To assess the cost implications of diabetes prevention, it is important to know the lifetime medical cost of people with diabetes relative to those without.
Insulin analogs are molecularly altered forms of insulin. Compared with human synthetic and animal insulin for treatment of type 2 diabetes, short-acting analogs may offer flexible dosing and convenience, long-acting analogs less nocturnal hypoglycemia, but both at greater cost.
This study updates previous estimates of the economic burden of diagnosed diabetes and quantifies the increased health resource use and lost productivity associated with diabetes in 2012.