The most “shocking” finding in the paper (per AAF President Douglas Holtz-Eakin) is that the net price – the price received by manufacturers after paying rebates – of the most common insulin products has fallen recently. For example, Eli Lilly released data showing that “the list price of Humalog increased 27 percent from 2015 to 2019, while the net price decreased 14 percent. Sanofi’s latest pricing report shows that since 2012, the average list price for all its insulin products increased 126 percent by 2018, while the average net price has decreased 25 percent.”
* Diabetes cost the United States $327 billion in 2017, becoming the most expensive chronic disease in the nation.
* Insulin costs, before accounting for any rebates or discounts, comprise an estimated $48 billion (20 percent) of the direct costs of treating diabetes; after rebates, insulin accounts for 6.3 percent of costs.
* The average list price of insulin increased 11 percent annually from 2001 to 2018, with average annual per capita insulin costs now nearing $6,000.
Because patients’ out-of-pocket costs are typically based on list price, their expenses have risen substantially despite the decrease in net price for many of the most commonly used insulin products over the past several years.
If the trends of the past decade continue, gross insulin costs in the United States could reach $121.2 billion in total spending (or $12,446 per insulin patient) by 2024, but if more recent trends of much slower price growth prevail, insulin spending could total $60.7 billion in 2024 (or $6,263 per patient).
The full paper can be found here. It’s an important read.