House Bill Aims to Cut Insulin List Prices to 2006 Levels

Regulatory NewsRegulatory News | 03 October 2019 |  By 

As patients who need insulin to live continue to struggle to obtain the increasingly costly injections, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced a bill this week to lower insulin list prices to 2006 levels.

The shift to 2006, according to DeGette, would lower the average list price for a vial of insulin from about $300 to approximately $68.

A report released Thursday by the White House explains how in recent years the list price of insulin has increased dramatically, with the American Diabetes Association finding increases of between 15% and 17% per year from 2012 to 2016. And although the report explains how high list price increases “do not always correspond to large net price increases,” diabetics with no insurance still must pay the full list price.

These high list and net prices have also led many to ration insulin, which has resulted in a spate of deaths.

Under the DeGette bill, any drugmaker reducing the list price of its insulin to the price listed in 2006 will no longer be required to provide additional rebates to insurers to ensure that insulin is covered. The bill would go so far as legally barring drugmakers that reduce the list price of their insulin from offering any additional rebates on that product.

The legislation would also prohibit insurers from refusing to cover any insulin product that’s been reduced to its 2006 price, which would eliminate the leverage insurance companies use to force drugmakers to offer these large rebates, and which is why the list prices continue to increase as the net prices stay relatively level.

And the bill would require Medicare and all private insurers plans to provide full coverage for any insulin product priced at or below the 2006 list price.

The changes would effectively halt the blame game between pharmacy benefit managers and insulin manufacturers, which was on full display on Capitol Hill in April.

The bill would also provide welcome relief, as insulin biosimilars and interchangeables are set to hit the market beginning in March 2020.

Insulin Price Reduction Act


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