ADA Issues Recommendations Designed to Fix Insulin Pricing, Accessibility Crisis

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) released a set of policy recommendations designed to spotlight the increasing difficulties patients with diabetes have affording insulin or gaining access to the life-saving medication. The recommendations follow the findings of a working group about the issue, the findings of which were presented to the Special Senate Committee on Aging earlier this month.

 

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) released a set of policy recommendations designed to spotlight the increasing difficulties patients with diabetes have affording insulin or gaining access to the life-saving medication through health insurance. The recommendations follow the findings of a working group that were presented to the Special Senate Committee on Aging earlier this month.The cost of diabetes in the United States was $327 billion in 2017, a 26% jump from 2012. That figure includes $31 billion for medication, including $15 billion for insulin.

The public policy statement creates recommendations in 4 areas, including:

  • Streamlining the biosimilar process
  • Increasing pricing transparency throughout the insulin supply chain
  • Lowering or removing patient cost-sharing for insulin
  • Increasing access to healthcare coverage

Competition and Biosimilar Insulins: Earlier this month, the FDA published a list of medications no longer under patent protection that do not have generic or biosimilar alternatives. The list includes 1 type of insulin that is off-patent but for which there are no alternative versions available. The ADA recommends the FDA continue its push to encourage additional competition in biosimilars.

Insulin Supply Chain: There is a lack of transparency at every level of the supply chain, the ADA and others have noted. ADA Chief Medical Officer William T. Cefalu, MD, told the Senate committee earlier this month that the byzantine structure of pharmacy rebates and discounts hurt patients and consumers.

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