What Makes Insulin Quite Costly

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What Makes Insulin Quite Costly

Pharmacists in Los Angeles, pharmacies in America

Usually, the rate of a drug goes up over time when it has established medical benefits and the early research-related cost gets recuperated. Prices come down as more producers start to make the drug, creating competition in the industry.

Insulin has been around for a long time, but it has not been substantiated that it is medically necessary. There are different producers making insulin and different pharmacists in Los Angeles and elsewhere selling it. However, the rate of the product has only come down. Between 2012 and 2018, there has been a 14% annual increase in insulin costs. This phenomenon occurs mainly due to two reasons, which are summarized below.

Lack of Generic Versions

Competition can also make prices come down. In the case of prescription drugs, this usually happens as the generic variety of a medication type is launched. The organization that first creates a drug and patents it can have that medication formula for a specific time. That right is to let the company get back what they spend on researching and producing the drug.

However, when that period passes, the patent of the company on the formula will expire. It is when other producers can make generic equivalents of that pharmaceutical drug. This means patients should pick from more pharmaceutical versions, promoting competition between producers, which then causes lower rates.

Now, this is yet to happen with regard to insulin. Patients can pick from some different insulin producers, but they make only brand-name varieties of insulin. There is no generic type of insulin available in the market. Again, the generic variety of a pharmaceutical drug is usually a lot more affordable than a brand-name version.

This means two equally challenging choices for patients. Their lone option is then to pick from equally costly branded insulin versions. One cause of the absence of a generic insulin type is perhaps that insulin comes under a classification of difficult-to-manufacture drugs. It is regarded as a biological medication, which is trickier to produce as it is a more complex molecule.

Lack Of Price Regulation

Another factor that contributes to the inordinately lofty price of insulin concerns the absence of price regulation for insulin producers. It is a more comprehensive issue in the US healthcare industry. Middlemen come in the process of a pharmaceutical drug being moved from manufacturing to the medicine cabinet of a customer. There is not enough transparency around that process, leaving room for those middlemen to inflate prices, besides chain pharmacies in America and producers. The US FDA still cannot regulate pharmaceutical pricing, either.