"The doctors and researchers who study insulin say it is yet another example — along with EpiPens and decades-old generic drugs — of companies raising the cost of their products because of the lax regulatory environment around drug pricing. “They are doing it because they can,” Jing Luo, a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told Vox in 2017, “and it’s scary because it happens in all kinds of different drugs and drug classes.”
This paragraph tells the story. They raise prices because they literally hold peoples’ lives in their hands, and if they can’t or won’t pay the price, they will die, often pretty damned horribly. As “government regulation” became a curse word, of course industry took full advantage.
This is a major problem. I have plenty of clients who must take insulin or die. The manufacturers know this, and so they maximize profits by raising prices to the point where only a few die. Insurance companies do little to help - in fact, they enable the problem by paying the going rate. And remember that clause that forbids Medicare to negotiate volume discounts? And they can’t shop Canadian either.
This might be the beginning of exciting news from Cigna, but right now it’s only helpful for a tiny number of people. If one insurer brought this price cap to the individual market, it would be huge - it would force the rest to get in line or lose a ton of members.
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