Pay or Die: Evaluating the United States Insulin Pricing Crisis and Realistic Solutions to End It

Healthcare in America is under constant debate, with many calling for changes and mass reform. An area seldom discussed to the degree necessary is the insulin pricing crisis, with one-in-four insulin dependent diabetics reporting that they must ration their insulin doses due to cost. Congress has failed to seriously address the exploitive pricing that occurs for the sale of insulin. Certain states have begun to address this issue on their own but without action from Congress and more unified solutions, the price gouging of insulin will continue. While there may not be a definitive answer to the insulin pricing issue, proper action can undoubtedly result in changes that relieve the financial burden on our nation’s diabetic population. This Article stands to show that the rising costs of insulin is a national crisis. The main issue being the lack of regulatory and legislative attention on the pricing of insulin. This Article addresses the issue by proposing a multifaceted approach, first exploring the historical context surrounding the insulin pricing crisis and how the situation has become so dire. By showing the historical background of insulin pricing, one can see the extent to which pricing has climbed, reaching the point we see today. Following the historical exploration, this Article addresses the current landscape of initiatives in place to address the insulin pricing crisis: legislation and policy, litigation, and patient savings programs. Subsequently, these current policies and practices are critiqued, evaluating their effectiveness and adequacy for addressing the insulin pricing issue. Finally, a more ideal solution to the insulin pricing crisis is presented. Ultimately, this Article seeks to brings to light the crisis facing our nation from the rising prices of insulin.