American Diabetes Association Board of Directors' Resolution: Insulin Affordability

Arlington, Virginia
November 17, 2016

The Board of Directors for the American Diabetes Association has released the following resolution:

WHEREAS, people with diabetes who use insulin need this medication every day of their lives in order to live;

WHEREAS, health care providers work with people who use insulin to determine the types and quantities of insulin necessary to successfully manage their diabetes and to reduce long- and short-term health consequences, including blindness, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and death;

WHEREAS, the annual cost of diabetes, gestational diabetes and prediabetes in the United States skyrocketed to $322 billion in 2012, a 48 percent increase in just five years;

WHEREAS, the cost of insulin has risen steadily and steeply, creating financial hardships for individuals who rely on it to survive, particularly those who are uninsured or underinsured;

WHEREAS, between 2002 and 2013 the average price of insulin nearly tripled;

WHEREAS, insulin is frequently cited as one of the most expensive categories of drugs by private and government health care payers, with insulin leading the list of price hikes for non-generic drugs in a recent government report on Medicare spending;

WHEREAS, insulin pricing is driven by a complex supply chain consisting of many players including manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), insurers and pharmacies;

WHEREAS, in much of Europe, insulin costs about a sixth of what it does in the United States;

WHEREAS, the increased cost of insulin has resulted in a growing number of people with diabetes telling their health care providers they are unable to afford the insulin prescribed for them, thus exposing them to serious long- and short-term health consequences; and

WHEREAS, the mission of the American Diabetes Association is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes; therefore be it

RESOLVED, the American Diabetes Association:

Calls upon all entities in the insulin supply chain, including manufacturers, wholesalers, PBMs, insurers and pharmacies, to substantially increase transparency in pricing associated with delivery of insulin to the end user patient.

Calls upon all entities in the insulin supply chain to ensure that no person with diabetes is denied affordable access to insulin; and

Calls upon Congress to hold hearings with all entities in the insulin supply chain to identify the reasons for the dramatic increases in insulin prices and to take action to ensure that all people who use insulin have affordable access to the insulin they need.

# # #

If you are a person living with diabetes and have questions regarding insulin affordability, please contact the Center for Information at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or AskADA@diabetes.org.