American Diabetes Association Issues Resolution and Launches Petition Calling for Access to Affordable Insulin


Michelle Kirkwood

Arlington, Virginia
November 17, 2016

Immediate Action Needed to Reverse Skyrocketing Costs of Lifesaving Medication for Millions of Americans

As the cost of insulin climbs, millions of Americans with diabetes are paying a steep price to stay alive. The American Diabetes Association® (Association) today announces a resolution and the launch of a petition calling on all entities in the insulin supply chain to increase transparency and to ensure that no person with diabetes is denied affordable access to insulin. The Association is also calling on 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 affordable access to insulin for all who need it.

Confirmed by a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the cost of insulin nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013.¹ The high cost of insulin is also impacting people with diabetes—some are forced to ration their insulin. Rationing of insulin is a life-threatening practice and increases the risk of the horrific complications of diabetes including blindness, amputation, kidney failure, heart disease and stroke. Others are doing without basic necessities in order to afford insulin.

"No one in need of lifesaving insulin should ever go without it due to prohibitive costs," said Desmond Schatz, MD, president, medicine & science at the American Diabetes Association. "We call on Congress and all those involved in the insulin supply chain to solve this crisis and to protect the millions of Americans who need insulin to stay alive. We also invite all Americans to join us in taking action by signing our petition."

The Association has been a consistent champion for affordable access to health care, and its resolution on Insulin Affordability, unanimously passed by the Association's Board of Directors, solidifies the organization's continuing efforts to ensure insulin is affordable and accessible for all people who need it. There are many entities involved in the production and delivery of insulin to patients, including manufacturers, wholesalers, insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and pharmacies – and the pricing negotiations that occur between them are often confidential. The Association's resolution calls for greater transparency on the part of all parties, and on Congress to hold hearings so that there can be a better understanding of all of the factors affecting insulin costs. This is the first step to identifying workable solutions. Members of the public can join the Association's efforts by signing the organization's petition at

The Association's efforts on insulin affordability are rising to the forefront during American Diabetes Month®. This year, the Association is encouraging people to share their stories about diabetes with a new This Is Diabetes™ campaign, which asks people to share their personal stories of living with diabetes – using the hashtag #ThisIsDiabetes – to help educate others, break down stereotypes, correct myths and misunderstandings, and to create a sense of urgency about finding long-term solutions.

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)


¹Kesselheim AS et. al. The High Cost of Prescription Drugs in the United States: Origins and Prospects for Reform. JAMA. 2016;316(8):858-871.