SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – With insulin prices rising, some states are fighting back. Jackson County, which includes the Kansas City Area, is suing insulin manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers for driving up the price of insulin.
The lawsuit calls out manufacturers saying insulin “which costs $2 per drug to produce now carry list prices between $300 and $700 per drug.” Other states like Arkansas have also filed lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies. Now, patients are voicing their concerns with their doctors about how to pay for the life-saving drug.
“It’s definitely a huge burden for a lot of our diabetes patients,” Mercy Endocrinologist Staff Dr. Jubran Rind said. “Some patients are having to ration their insulin and diabetes medications to make them last, which they shouldn’t have to.”
Rind said diabetes is a widespread health issue.
“One out of every $4 spent on health care in the U.S. is spent on diabetes,” Rind said. “So something needs to be done to make insulin more accessible for the people who need it. And it is a lifesaving medication.”
Rind believes the price hike will last for while. But, there are ways patients can save money on insulin without having to ration it.
“Sometimes it helps to use coupons which patients can find online or are offered by drug manufacturers to offset the price of insulin,” Rind said. “We would usually have patients apply for patient assistance programs that are offered by some drug companies, which not everybody gets approved for. But if they do get approved, that is a huge help because they then would get their insulin free of cost and that they receive it in our clinic and then we give it to the patients.”
Rind said some patients have had success with calling the drug manufacturers directly and asking for a lower cost. He said if anyone has concerns to go ahead and call their doctor.