Study Finds Cost Of Insulin Doubled Between 2012 And 2016

Dutch boy Ruben van As, 7, who has childhood diabetes, shows off his life-saving kit which he carries with him all the time and can show him immediately how high his blood sugar levels are and if he needs to adjust his insulin

The cost of insulin has been rapidly rising, with the price doubling between 2012 and 2016. A new study from the Health Care Cost Institute found that in 2012, a patient with Type 1 diabetes would spend an average of $2,864 on insulin. In 2016, that cost ballooned to $5,705. 

While health insurance covers most of the cost, people without insurance are stuck trying to come up with the extra money to pay for their treatment. 

The study pointed out that the increases are not the result of higher demand, but instead due to a shift in the use of more expensive insulin products and price hikes by the drug companies. 

"It's not that individuals are using more insulin or that new products are particularly innovative or provide immense benefits," Jeannie Fuglesten Biniek, a senior institute researcher and the report's co-author, told NBC News, "Use is pretty flat, and the price changes are occurring in both older and newer products. That surprised me. The exact same products are costing double."

The price hikes are continuing as Sanofi and Novo Nordisk both raised the prices on insulin products in 2019. 

 Photo: Getty Images

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