Senate committee launches probe into skyrocketing insulin prices

The Senate Finance Committee has launched an investigation into steeply rising U.S. insulin prices, according to Reuters.

Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., sent letters to the three leading manufacturers of insulin — Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi — seeking answers to why the 100-year-old lifesaving drug is increasing in price.

In the letter, the senators pointed to sharp insulin price increases at all three companies. In one instance, the letter asks why Eli Lilly's Humalog rose 585 percent between 2001 and 2015.

Senators are asking the companies to discuss their pricing strategies, their research and development costs and revenue from insulin sales.

"We are concerned that the substantial increases in the price of insulin over the past several years will continue their upward drive and pose increasingly severe hardships, not only on patients that require access to the drug in order to stay alive, but also on the taxpayer," the senators wrote, according to Reuters.

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