The United States Should Place Further Price Controls on Insulin

(Source) Over the last two decades, insulin prices have skyrocketed in the United States. Back in 1999, a single vial of Humalog cost $21. By 2019 the very same vial of Humalog costs $332. According to Vox, the average price for four of the most commonly used types of insulin has tripled. For the most popular insulin, Humulin, an average month’s supply used to cost $258 in 2010. By 2015 an average month’s supply of Humulin soared to nearly $1,100.   Although one might assume that these price changes occurred normally as a result of inflation, that is not the case. The price of insulin has outpaced the rate of inflation. What is more, the cost of insulin in the United States is five to ten times higher than it is in other countries.  So why have insulin prices risen at such a staggering rate? The answer is rent seeking. American drug manufacturers have raised prices in order to extract further profits from insulin formulations that have not been improved in decades. They have also raised prices on newer, improved insulin formulations at rates that do not correspond to their production costs or their increased efficacy. Moreover, manufacturers have raised prices [read more]