Insulin costs doubled over five-year period: study

Insulin costs doubled over five-year period: study
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Per-person spending on insulin doubled in a recent five-year period, according to a report released Tuesday.

Individuals with type 1 diabetes spent an average of $5,705 on insulin in 2016, compared with $2,864 in 2012, according to a study from the Health Care Cost Institute.

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The dollar amount represents the combined amount paid by a patient and their insurer, and doesn't include discounts given later. 

The spending jump is largely driven by price increases, the authors wrote, and not because more people are using insulin. 

Between that period, average daily insulin rose a modest 3 percent, the report says.

For an individual using an average amount of insulin, the price increased from $7.80 a day in 2012 to $15 a day in 2016. 

Price increases have the biggest impact on the uninsured and those with high deductible health plans, which requires that customers pay a certain amount toward their health care before insurance kicks in.

Rising drug prices have caused national outcry in recent years, with the new Democratic House majority vowing to investigate. 

The House Oversight and Reform Committee last week sent letters to a dozen drug companies seeking detailed information and documents about how they price their medications.

Several Democratic committee chairmen have also said they will call in drugmakers to explain price increases. 

Minnesota's attorney general filed a lawsuit in October accusing the three main insulin drug manufacturers of deceptively raising prices.