The exorbitant price of insulin, a life-saving drug that helps millions of diabetics all around the world live normal lives, has continued to rise as the years have gone on. It has gotten to the point that some diabetics must ration out their insulin or skip doses altogether due to not having enough money to cover the cost. Thankfully, this may be an issue of the past very soon, as two large developments in Washington hint towards a future with more affordable, easier to access insulin.
A recent article from Healio, an online medical journal, reports that the United States House of Representatives has voted to cap insulin prices at $35 a month for Americans who live with diabetes. Social spending bill H.R. 5376, dubbed the Build Back Better bill, was approved by the House by a vote of 220-213. This bill would make it so that Medicare Part D and other healthcare plans can not charge more than $30 a month for a 30 day supply of insulin. Assuming it is approved by the Senate as well as President Biden, this would go into effect starting 2023.
Garnering approval from President Biden should not be an issue however, as an article from Healthline reinforces. Long-time diabetes activist Gail deVore was recently given the opportunity to sit down with Biden and discuss the current nature of the insulin market and what needs to be done to deflate these prices. According to deVore, the meeting went exceptionally well, as they were able to talk and really listen to one another for a full 30 minutes. “He really heard me,” says deVore. “He was so open, so kind, so wanted to make a connection. I honestly believe that his whole heart is in this proposal, and that he can help persuade people on this.” Biden’s comments at a press conference later in the day reaffirmed that he and deVore are on the same page regarding the accessibility of insulin for all Americans, and that he intends to make her dreams a reality during his presidency.
So does this confirm that insulin price hikes are for sure going the way of the Dodo? Well, there are no guarantees yet, but the approval of the House as well as the verbal approval of President Biden sparks good news for the millions of American diabetics being bled dry by the greedy corporations who provide them their insulin. It all comes down to the Senate and their decision regarding the Build Back Better bill to see where the prices of insulin stand in 2023 and beyond. Let us all hope, for the sake of diabetics everywhere, that they make the right decision.