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Old 04-12-2019, 06:16 AM
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Absurd insulin prices in the US

Wow. Okay I've been away from the States for a long, long time now. When I left, a 10ml vial of insulin at the pharmacy was around $30. Now I see it is like 10 times that amount and then the pharma companies give you a "discount coupon". What a scam. Of course, not everyone gets one and not everyone who needs insulin can pony up the dough. You know where that story ends. The morgue. As diabetes spreads, Big Pharma is playing everyone. You know how they justify keeping the price high? Like this. When insulin was developed like 100 years ago, the inventor sold the patent for $1 (for humanitarian reasons). Over time the new patent holder (a university, I believe) licensed the product to a pharma company for mass production. Patents expire, resulting in orphan drugs that anyone can copy and make generic versions of. What Big Pharma does is they keeping making tweaks to the formula to keep the patent alive. Insulin never goes to orphan status and Big Pharma can keep raising prices due to "improvements" (mostly minor at best).

I am so glad to be over in Greece. For all its many deficiencies, they do regulate drug prices. Insulin and metformin (which I must take) is cheap and pretty much I don't need prescriptions for anything except stuff like xanax. I honestly don't think I'd survive if I went back home. My health insurance here is 1/3 of what it'd be there and that's with a moderate deductible. No drug benefit, but that's okay thanks to price controls.
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