The United States’ Insulin Crisis


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 getting sick or 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.

Need help accessing insulin in the U.S.? Head to to create a customized access plan—find copay cards and assistance programs you may qualify for based on your location, types of insulin you use, income level and insurance coverage.

Navigating healthcare in the United States

All About Insulin

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood, effectively turning food into fuel for the body. A person is diagnosed with diabetes once the body is n...MORE

Get Insulin

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

Managing Diabetes Without Health Insurance

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

Glossary for Navigating U.S. Healthcare

The U.S. healthcare system is complex; this glossary clarifies some of the terms that most apply to someone living with type 1 diabetes. 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?MORE


The insulin crisis in the United States + get involved

Get Involved with Access Advocacy

Everyone impacted by diabetes has a right to the best care possible. Learn how to lend your voice to the fight for access.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...MORE

How much does it cost to produce insulin?

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

How Insulin Pricing Works in the U.S.

The American healthcare system has created a complex web of players who exchange money for pharmaceutical products in ways that are not entirely clear.MORE

Focus on Access

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

All About State-Based Insulin Price Cap Laws

While we advocate for federal actions on insulin pricing, state based insulin price cap laws are leading the charge. MORE

Inside the Senate Report on Rising Insulin Prices

A January 2021 Senate Finance Committee report dug into the rapidly increasing cost of insulin. Here, we summarize and explain their findings.MORE

How Rebates—Most of the Cost of Your Insulin—Work

The rebate system creates up to 70% of the current list price of insulin in the US, and it doesn’t have to be this way. MORE
drug rebates

Drug Rebates, Insulin and Affording Life with Diabetes in the United States

The issues surrounding drug rebates in the U.S. highlight the need for reform, especially when it comes to insulin and living with diabetes.MORE


Insulin access news + stories

GoodRx Announces New Way for People to Access Lantus for $35

GoodRx partnered with Sanofi to offer $35 insulin coupons to all, regardless of their insurance status, for use at pharmacies nationwide. MORE

Tandem’s Mobi Approved by the FDA

Tandem’s newest insulin pump, Mobi, was approved by the FDA for people with diabetes age six and up. Here's what you need to know!MORE

Novo Nordisk to Slash Insulin Prices by over 65%

Novo Nordisk announced that starting January 1st, 2024 they will be lowering the list price of several of their insulins by 65-70%.MORE

$25 List Price + $35 Copay Caps: Lilly’s New Insulin Cost Reductions

On March 1, 2023, insulin manufacturer Lilly announced expanded insulin cost-saving measures for people with and without health insurance coverage.MORE
UnitedHealthcare Copay

UnitedHealthcare Announces $0 Copay on Insulin, Glucagon + More, Beginning in 2023

UnitedHealthcare announced a $0 copay on insulin, glucagon and other drugs starting in 2023. Here's what that could mean for UHC members.MORE

New Program Offers $35 Monthly Copays for Sanofi Insulins

Sanofi has announced a $35 per month insulin copay program for uninsured individuals in the U.S, effective July 1, 2022.MORE

How Civica Rx Aims to Change the U.S. Insulin Market

We sat down with Civica Rx board chair Dan Liljenquist to talk about how Civica Rx aims to create modern insulins for $30 or less per vial.MORE

Civica Rx Aims to Bring $30 Insulin to Market in 2024

Launching to market in 2024, Civica Rx aims to make insulin available for no more than $30 per vial, regardless of insurance status.MORE

Diabetes Community Survey Shows Drug Costs Still Ranks Highest Access Concern

A majority of respondents (56%) ranked access to affordable insulin and diabetes drugs as their most important access issue.MORE

Out of Pocket Cost for Your Insulin Just Change? It’s Your Insurance Formulary

Every July, PBMs update contracts between insulin manufacturers and insurance companies, which can change what you pay for insulin.MORE

Over Insulin Pricing, Mississippi AG Sues Insulin Manufacturers and Pharmacy Benefit Managers

MS attorney general Lynn Fitch filed a lawsuit against PBMs & insulin manufacturers for allegedly working together to inflate insulin prices.MORE

Pay More Than $100 per Month for Insulin? Read This

If you’re in the United States, be sure to take advantage of every cost-reducing program available to pay less for the insulin you need.MORE

Get the Facts on Insulin Pricing + The Presidential Transition

A flurry of misinformation is stoking fears that the Biden Admin paused or reversed a previous Trump Admin policy that lowered the price of insulin. MORE

New Year, New Administration: What’s Coming For US Healthcare Policy

With a new governmental administration, it is likely we will see notable and impactful movement in healthcare policy. What can we expect? MORE

Amazon Launches Online Pharmacy

Amazon Pharmacy, launched on November 17, delivers medications and prescription refills - such as insulin - with Prime membership 2-day shipping.MORE

At What Cost? The Impact of Diabetes on Your Budget, Part 3

We’re digging into the impact that living with Type 1 diabetes has on your money. In Part 3, one month in DC on a $67,000 annual salary.MORE

Fourth Major Insulin Manufacturer Enters US Market with Semglee Launch

Semglee (insulin glargine), from Mylan and Biocon, is now available by prescription in the United States in vial and pre-filled pen presentations.MORE

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.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.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.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. 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.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.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.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....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.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.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.”MORE

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

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

Government Shutdown Leads to Insulin Rationing

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

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.MORE

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

While TV shows have the propensity to be dramatic, the TV discussion on insulin rationing is not an exaggeration. Learn more.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 m...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 ...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. 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.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 diabet...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. 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?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 ha...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 ...MORE


WRITTEN BY Beyond Type 1 Editorial Team, POSTED 06/26/20, UPDATED 08/04/23

This piece was authored collaboratively by the Beyond Type 1 Editorial Team.