Pharma CEOs get filthy rich by price-gouging insulin. Patients die rationing medicine they can’t afford. The pharmaceutical industry uses its lobbying power to keep drug prices high. Wash, rinse, repeat. It’s a horrific cycle and patients are fed up.
Here’s the story, in four graphs, of America’s insulin crisis:
Since 1996, pharmaceutical corporations have increased the list price of a vial of insulin from $21 to over $275. In the past four years, the monthly price has increased by over 50%.1
Patients Die Rationing Insulin
Confronted with industry price-gouging, nearly a quarter of patients have reported rationing treatment. At least twelve people have died from insulin rationing, with many more deaths likely unreported.
Pharma CEOs Keep Getting Richer
Since 2014, one of the three major insulin manufacturers — Eli Lily — has increased its top executive compensation by almost $10 million.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Big Pharma CEOs don’t need another pay raise. Insulin doesn’t need another price hike. And patients — in the wealthiest country in the world — shouldn’t have to ration their life-saving insulin.
Industry often claims that the list price is misleading because it fails to account for rebates and discounts. But many people are directly impacted by the list price, including the uninsured and those in high-deductible health plans. According to the CDC, nearly 30 million people do not have insurance, and nearly half of all Americans with private insurance are in high-deductible health plans. In addition, while the net price is lower than the list price, it is still five times the price in other countries, and four times the inflation-adjusted original price.