7 things to know about insulin cost hikes

Despite public outrage over the high cost of insulin and drugmaker promises to halt price increases, they continued to climb from 2017 to 2018, according to a GoodRx analysis.

Here are seven things to know about the price of insulin:

1. In 2017 drug prices became a key component of the Trump administration's agenda. Since then, insulin prices increased by an average of 9 percent.

2. The most recent price hikes were on insulin treatments made by Sanofi and Novo Nordisk, which both raised prices as much as 3 percent. The increases took effect in May for Sanofi and July for Novo Nordisk.

3. Sanofi had vowed just days before its increase to limit annual price hikes to a rate below medical inflation. Novo Nordisk promised months before its increase to cap annual price hikes to a single-digit percentage.

4. GoodRx, which analyzed 22 insulin brands, found that manufacturers are continuing to raise the price of insulin.

5. GoodRx found that traditional insulins, such as the short- and intermediate-acting types, are cheaper than the modern, rapid and long-acting insulins. On average, traditional insulins now cost half the price of modern insulins. This is partially because patents expired on the traditional insulins in 2000, which allowed for generic competition.

6. Vials are cheaper than newer dispensers such as insulin pens. Rapid-acting insulins are 30 percent more expensive if bought in a pen verses a vial.

7. Generic insulins are still expensive. Generic versions of insulin are not much cheaper than the brand-name. In fact, a generic version of Humalog, a rapid-acting insulin, costs just 15 percent less.

Read the full analysis here.

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