ClickCease How Much Does Insulin Cost In America? 2021 Updated | Easy Drug Card
vial of insulin sitting on a table to demonstrate how much does insulin cost in America

How Much Does Insulin Cost In America? 2021 Updated

There are over 34 million Americans diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and about a third of them require insulin to manage the disease. Over the past few decades, the price of insulin has continued to increase and has caused people diagnosed with diabetes more out-of-pocket expenses. How much is insulin in America? How do I lower my out-of-pocket cost for insulin? 

How Much Is Insulin In America For Insured Patients?

There are many versions of insulin out today. The newer forms include fast-acting versions of insulin, which 90% of insured patients have been prescribed. Although these forms of insulin are faster acting and more effective, they are also more costly. On average, these newer versions of insulin can retail from $175-$300 per vial. Some patients may require 2-3 vials a month. Many diabetic patients are forced to skip or go without their insulin and diabetic supplies at such high prices. Nine percent of patients who are insured or have Medicaid still pay full list price on insulin. 

How Much Is Insulin In America For Uninsured Patients?

The cost of insulin can be devastating for an uninsured person who requires it to manage their diabetes. With the average price ranging from $175 to $300 per vial of insulin, it can become impossible to afford the medications you need. There are programs to help underinsured or uninsured patients afford their diabetic medications and supplies. Ask your doctor for references to national and local programs that can help lower your medication costs. Uninsured Americans with diabetes are more likely to be using older, less effective insulin formulations than those with private insurance or Medicaid. Although these older forms of insulin are more cost-effective, 68% of uninsured patients pay full insulin costs

The Decline Of Insulin Cost in America

Over the years, there have been multiple initiatives to lower the price of insulin for Americans with diabetes. Some insurance providers have recently created programs to cap out-of-pocket costs for diabetics for as low as $25 a month. Starting in January 2021, Medicare recipients will have more than 1,600 Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans to choose from, providing a range of insulin products at a maximum of a $35 monthly co-payment. Older versions of insulin are sometimes prescribed to lower the cost for the patient. However, The newer versions of insulin are more effective in reducing blood sugar and are faster acting.

Generics And Biosimilar Forms of Insulin

Generic and biosimilar forms of insulin have helped lower the price overall. Generic forms of medications contain the same active ingredients and effectiveness. Insulin is a Biologic drug. A Biologic drug or biopharmaceutical is any pharmaceutical drug product manufactured in or extracted from a biological source. These types of drugs are often extremely difficult to recreate, and in turn, Biosimilars are created. Biosimilars are developed by a pharmaceutical manufacturer creating a close copy of the drug instead of a replica. The generic form of insulin is still commonly the most cost-effective way to purchase insulin. Biosimilars are still a cheaper form of a brand-name drug. 

Get The Lowest Insulin Prices

With over 65,000 participating pharmacies nationwide, Easy Drug Card can help you find the lowest prices at pharmacies near you for insulin and other prescriptions. No one should be forced to go without the medications they need because the prices are too high. With an easy-to-use price finder, find the lowest price, and ythen get your prescription discount card downloaded, text or emailed to you directly. Visit our website to find the biggest discounts on insulin! 

References:

1). https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/diabetes-stat-report.html#:~:text=34.2%20million%20Americans%E2%80%94just%20over,Asians%20and%20non%2DHispanic%20whites.

2). https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshuacohen/2021/01/05/insulins-out-of-pocket-cost-burden-to-diabetic-patients-continues-to-rise-despite-reduced-net-costs-to-pbms/?sh=7aa0be9740b2

3). https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshuacohen/2020/12/03/will-2021-be-another-break-through-year-for-biosimilars/?sh=20a5435835d8

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Andrea M. Jones

Dr. Andrea M. Jones is a clinical pharmacist specializing in transitions of care to facilitate a smooth transition for patients between the hospital and outpatient settings. Dr. Jones graduated from the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy and completed post-graduate year 1 residency at the Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System in Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Jones also worked in retail/community pharmacies for over 5 years during undergraduate studies at the University of Kentucky and pharmacy school at the University of Colorado.

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