Capping the Price of Insulin

Capping the price of insulin. State Senator Janet Cruz (D-Tampa) filed a new bill to cap the price of insulin co-pays at $100. Colorado was the first state to do this earlier this year, and we hope more states follow. It is a national embarrassment that people that need insulin are forced to ration it because they can't afford the outrageously high prices. This tragedy with real life consequences for thousands is a market failure facilitated by weak government regulation. This video from Business Insider and this article from The Week breaks down how we got here:

A final problem is government policy. Most other western countries like Canada either strictly regulate drug prices across the board, or health insurance is provided by some sort of single-payer system, giving the government enormous leverage to force drug prices down. The United States has none of this: We have a hodgepodge of different buyers, from government programs like Medicare and Medicaid to private insurers. Medicare is explicitly forbidden from trying to negotiate drug prices down. And we don't really regulate drug prices much.

In short, our patent system — and the way the drug manufacturers game it — keeps a lot of competitors out. The FDA process, for good or ill, throws up an extra hurdle. That gives the manufacturers of insulin and lots of other drugs a lot of room to just keep jacking prices into the stratosphere. Meanwhile, America's adherence to a strictly "market friendly" policy philosophy means the government has no leverage to push prices down on the back end. As a result, the price of insulin (like many other drugs) has been inching upward for decades, and really took off in the last few years.

However, with the current makeup of the Florida legislature, it will be an uphill battle to pass Sen. Cruz's bill. We need to focus on winning state legislative seats if we want to make meaningful progress in Tallahassee.


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