With a recent investigation launched by the Michigan Attorney General, the Indiana based pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly has been under fire for increasing insulin prices. Eli Lilly is only one of three companies that control nearly 100 percent of the world’s insulin.
Reports have found that the three major manufacturers of insulin – including Eli Lilly – currently mark up the price of their insulin products by as much as 5,000 percent above the actual costs of manufacturing the drugs.
In the past decade alone, U.S. insulin list prices have tripled, according to an analysis of data from IBM Watson Health. In 1996, when Eli Lilly debuted its Humalog brand of insulin, the list price of a 10-milliliter vial was $21. The price of the same vial is now $275.
The outrageous price of insulin presents an obvious harm to patients. A study published in the January 2019 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine examined how often patients underuse their insulin because of cost.