The United States’ Insulin Crisis

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Everyone with Type 1 diabetes and many people with Type 2 diabetes require daily insulin injections to live, but there is a unique crisis going on in the United States. People with diabetes are dying from their inability to access insulin. Others are left making difficult decisions, cutting back on or “rationing” their insulin, taking extra jobs, crowdfunding, or forgoing paying bills in order to afford life-sustaining medication. High quality, modern insulin must be available to people with diabetes regardless of employment or insurance status, across all demographics, without barriers and at an affordable and predictable price point.

If you are struggling to afford insulin, find resources here.

Navigating healthcare in the United States

Get Insulin


Struggling to afford insulin? Options to try + ways to make change. READ MORE

All About Insulin


Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. When the pancreas is no longer able to produce insulin, or not enough insulin, the diagnosis can be either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.READ MORE

Health Insurance Guide for T1D


This comprehensive health insurance guide includes in-depth explanations of plans, tips for dealing with denials, and ways to cut costs, to name a few.READ MORE

Suddenly Jobless or Without Health Insurance? Start Here.


If you've just lost your health insurance coverage or are struggling to afford your medications and supplies, start here.READ MORE

What to do If You Need Insulin Right Now


If you need insulin immediately but are not sure how you’re going to get it, there are multiple ways to access the insulin you need to keep yourself alive. READ MORE

US Healthcare System Glossary


The US healthcare system is complex; this glossary clarifies some of the terms that most apply to someone living with Type 1 diabetes. READ MORE

Health Insurance Hurdles 101: Insulin + Diabetes Supplies


Congratulations, you have health insurance! But your diabetes supplies and insulin are still expensive. What’s a person with diabetes to do?READ MORE

 

Learn about the insulin crisis in the United States + get involved

Get Involved with Access Advocacy


Tools and actions to make change in the fight for access to insulin + supplies for people with diabetes. READ MORE

The Insulin-pricing Machine


We’re doing our best to untangle the complicated web that dictates insulin pricing in hopes of getting to the bottom of why this relatively simple and essential medicine for managing Type 1 diabetes and sometimes Type 2 diabetes costs as much as it does.READ MORE

How much does it cost to produce insulin?


A recent study sets prices for the future of biosimilars.READ MORE

How Insulin Pricing Works in the U.S.


How did insulin become so expensive in the United States? There is no singular, simple answer to this question, because the American healthcare system has created a complex web of players who exchange money for pharmaceutical products in ways that are not entirely clear to consumers.READ MORE

Focus on Access


How did insulin pricing get so out of control in the United States? And how do we move forward? READ MORE

 

Read the latest insulin access news + stories

At What Cost? The Impact of Diabetes on Your Budget, Part 2


In this series, we’re digging into the impact that living with diabetes has on your money. This time, one month in London, Ontario on a $17,537 salary.READ MORE

Insulin: Past, Present & Future


Insulin: it’s that thing that keeps people with Type 1 diabetes alive. Here, we explore where insulin has been and where it's going next.READ MORE

Insulin Access: The Haves and Have-Nots


Reliable and consistent insulin access should not be a luxury reserved for the few. It should be the standard.READ MORE

The Impact of Insulin Rationing on Mental Health


Insulin rationing is an unfortunate reality for people with diabetes and the burden on mental health is something people with diabetes shouldn't have to bear. READ MORE

Medicare Part D Senior Savings Model Caps Insulin Costs at $35 per Month


The Senior Savings Model caps out of pocket insulin costs at $35 per month for seniors enrolled in eligible plans.READ MORE

At What Cost? The Impact of Diabetes on Your Budget, Part 1


In this new series, we’re digging into the impact that living with Type 1 diabetes has on your money. First up, one month in Pembroke, New Hampshire on a $44,000 salary, with Type 1 diabetes.READ MORE

Minnesota Passes the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act


The Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act was signed into law in Minnesota, providing MN residents options for emergency and ongoing insulin access for those who qualify.READ MORE

Novo Offers Free 90-Day Insulin Supply to People Recently Uninsured Due to COVID-19


Novo Nordisk announces program offering a free 90-day supply of Novo Nordisk insulin for those who have recently lost their health insurance coverage due to a change in job status because of COVID-19. READ MORE

New Program Offers $35 Monthly Copays for Lilly Insulins


Eli Lilly announced a new program that allows people in the US to fill their monthly prescription of Lilly insulin for $35 per month with a copay card.READ MORE

Insulin Copay Cap Bills: An Overview


Insulin copayment bills have been a hot topic of conversation in the fight to give Americans with diabetes better access to the drug they need to survive.READ MORE

New Insulin Approval Pathway Could Increase Competition


The new regulatory pathway “is expected to increase patient access, adding more choices and potentially reducing costs of these vital therapies.”READ MORE

The Power in Numbers: Change.org’s Affordable Insulin For All Movement


As insulin prices continue to increase in the United States, Change.org is equipping those affected with the tools to speak out.READ MORE

New Medicare Plan Will Cap Insulin Copays at $35


On March 11, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new plan for some Medicare Part D participants to pay a maximum $35 copay for their monthly supply of insulin. READ MORE

Half-Price Generics of NovoLog and NovoLog Mix Announced by Novo Nordisk


Novo Nordisk announced that authorized generic versions of NovoLog and NovoLog Mix will be made available on January 2, 2020.READ MORE

Senate Bill Aims to Cut Price of Insulin by 75%


The "Insulin Price Reduction Act" would create a new pricing model for insulin, incentivizing manufacturers to lower list prices to 2006 prices.READ MORE

New Senate Bill Would Speed up Availability of Generic Insulin in the U.S.


The Affordable Insulin Approvals Now Act is a bipartisan bill intended to speed up the approval process of generic insulins in order to help lower costs.READ MORE

New Bipartisan ‘Emergency Access’ Bill Introduced to Lower Insulin Costs


Democratic Senator Tina Smith announced Thursday the rollout of a bipartisan bill to bring down insulin prices. The legislation features the set-up of an emergency insulin assistance program, which would be funded in part by a fee imposed on insulin manufacturers. READ MORE

Colorado Becomes First State to Pass Bill Capping Insulin Costs


On Wednesday, May 22, Colorado became the first state in the U.S. to put a price cap on insulin.READ MORE

Express Scripts Won’t Cover Lilly’s Generic Insulin


The largest PBM in the U.S. recently released a list of formulary exclusions that included 'Insulin Lispro' as an excluded medication. READ MORE

Insulin Manufacturers and PBMs Testify Before Congress


The hearing was contentious throughout, with House members grilling both the manufacturers and the PBM representatives about the reasons for high costs.READ MORE

Cigna Plan Could Cap Insulin Costs at $25 a Month


Cigna and Express Scripts announced on Wednesday that they would be lowering the out-of-pocket cost of insulin for some patients with diabetes.READ MORE

Half-Price Generic of Humalog Insulin Launched by Lilly


On Monday, March 4, Lilly Diabetes announced in a press release that an authorized generic version of Humalog insulin will be available in United States pharmacies for half the list price of Humalog.READ MORE

Teen with T1D Rationed Insulin to Help Parents


Dillon Hooley started rationing insulin at the beginning of 2018, in an effort to help his parents struggling with finances.READ MORE

Insulin Manufacturers Called on to Explain Skyrocketing Prices


On Tuesday, a group of U.S. Senators led by Patty Murray (D-WA) sent letters to executives at Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi demanding information about the rising prices of insulin.  READ MORE

Government Shutdown Leads to Insulin Rationing


Government workers are increasingly unable to afford basic necessities like food, power, and critical medications like insulin.READ MORE

Congressman Introduces “Insulin Access For All Act” for Medicaid and Medicare Beneficiaries


Representative Bobby Rush (D-Ill) introduced the Insulin Access For All Act to eliminate the cost-sharing requirement for patients on Medicare and MedicaidREAD MORE

The Deductible Problem


Over the past two decades, deductibles have been steadily rising and a greater percentage of Americans have been enrolling in high deductible health plans.READ MORE

People Are Dying from Insulin Rationing – Even TV Dramas Are Talking About It


While TV dramas have the propensity to be — well, dramatic — the details of Abby’s story are not only accurate but also more common than one might believe.READ MORE

Riya Nearly Died from DKA because her Family Couldn’t Afford Insulin


I could imagine what the family must be going through. The mother felt helpless -- she had no idea what went wrong. She was trying to follow what was prescribed by the doctors, but they didn’t have money to buy Lantus so they missed few doses. READ MORE

The Patient’s Bottom Line: Human Insulin is Not the Answer


The Insulin Access Affordability Working Group convened by the American Diabetes Association published its Conclusions and Recommendations this month. While it is critical that there be peer-reviewed literature on the insulin access crisis we’re facing in the United States, I was shocked to find passages suggesting that human insulins like R and NPH might be part of a solution. READ MORE

Treating Type 1 diabetes without Insurance – The #OverTheCounterT1DChallenge


Losing your insurance should never be a death sentence. Rob Howe challenges himself to take only R and N insulin, available over-the-counter for less than $100/month. READ MORE

Getting Insurance on Your Own — My Run Down


Managing T1D is a daily job, and translating health insurance plans can be another part time job on top of it all.READ MORE

No Matter the Cost — The Affordable Insulin Project


DPAC has launched their newest education campaign, The Affordable Insulin Project, which is aimed at helping those with Type 1 reduce the cost of their insulin. DPAC co-founder and person with diabetes (PWD), Christel Marchand Aprigliano, was able to shed some light on the policy-focused organization.READ MORE

Fast-acting Insulin, Fiasp, Gets FDA Approval


Last Friday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Novo Nordisk’s latest fast-acting insulin, Fiasp, for treatment use by adults with diabetes. READ MORE

Is Pharma Breaking the Law?


It’s obvious that the price of insulin has skyrocketed, but the real question is what laws have been broken, if any, in the process by big pharma?READ MORE

Insulin — At What Cost?


According to the Washington Post, small changes to existing formulas keep insulin prices high and generics out of reach — despite the fact that the original patent expired over 75 years ago. This has been an increasing financial burden to the many who are insulin-dependent and has recently caught the attention of US politicians.READ MORE

A Brief History of Insulin


It’s difficult to overstate the direness of diabetes pre-insulin. Though it’s been a known disease since the 16th century BCE, when Egyptian physicians noted that ants were attracted to the urine of certain patients (whose other symptoms would include emaciation, thirst, and exhaustion), for most of human history anyone unfortunate enough to suffer from Type 1 diabetes would almost certainly die.READ MORE