Reed offers insulin manufacturers a deal to cut rising costs
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Cutting the cost of insulin: That’s the goal of a new proposal from U.S. Rep. Tom Reed.
The bill would reduce the price of most insulin products by more than 75 percent, from an average of $300 a vial, to its 2006 price of just $68 a vial. That is a 75 percent savings on average, according to Reed, who is the Republican co-chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus.
His legislation strikes a deal with the three insulin manufacturers. To cut costs, it would protect the drug companies from having to offer any additional rebates to insurers in order to have their products covered. Health insurers would also be prohibited from refusing to cover any insulin product that had its price slashed under reed’s bill.
Reed hopes this will end the industry’s drug manufacturer rebates. Those are offered only to the insurance companies to lower the cost of insulin. But they often don’t help lower costs for the nearly 30 million Americans living with diabetes.
Insulin costs tripled from 2002-2013, according to the American Diabetes Association; other estimates show a spike of 600 percent in the last 20 years.
“We’re providing a carrot approach to it, to say to our manufacturers of insulin that if you reduce these prices, we’ll make sure that any penalties you are subject to are no longer need necessary to be paid,” Reed explained. “You give that relief right to the patients at the pharmaceutical counter or at the delivery of insulin to their door.”
This is the latest bill Reed has proposed to cut insulin costs. The fight is also personal for Reed because his son lives with type-1 diabetes.