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Insulin is still super expensive. Colorado is doing something about it. It’s still likely not enough.

Related HCT episodes:
1. Why do insulin prices keep rising?

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Insulin's still super expensive.

Colorado's doing something about it: it's still likely not enough. This is Healthcare Triage

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Not long ago we talked about the price of insulin.

The four types most often used in the United States have tripled in price in the last ten years, and are now up to more than four hundred and fifty dollars per month on average. Bad! Last week, Colorado passed the new law that mandates that those with diabetes won't spend more than a hundred dollars per month for the drug starting next year.

Hurrah? But of course there's fine print. It's no more than a hundred dollars in co-pays.

That doesn't include, of course the money you've spent in premiums. Don'w worry about this discount hurting drug companies, either. They can charge the insurance companies more.

Everyone's premiums will go up, even if it's only a few cents a month. This isn't the only thing happening. Cigna, the insurance company, and its pharmacy benefit Express Scripts announced that they were dropping the price for insulin to no more than twenty-five dollars for their customers.

That sounds amazing, until you learn that before this program, in 2018, they'd already capped the fee at forty-one dollars and fifty cents, so it's not as dramatic a drop as you think. We shouldn't knock Cigna, 'cause they're trying. They're keeping the cap at twenty-five dollars even before the deductible is met, and they're planning to roll it out for all their insurance plans.

But let's be realistic here: the price of insulin is a nationwide problem. Colorado is one state, and one of the states with the lowest incidence of diabetes. The vast, vast majority of people with diabetes don't live in Colorado.

Even in Colorado, this law only applies to those who have health insurance. If you don't, no cap for you, which seems problematic. The Cigna announcement only matters if you have Cigna insurance, and if your employer opts into the new plan.

If they don't: doesn't work for you. Even if they do, the vast, vast majority of people with diabetes- more than ninety-nine percent of them, in fact- don't have Cigna insurance. These are Band-Aids.

They're appreciated by those who are affected, but almost all people with diabetes in the United States won't benefit from them. They need some better solution, and it will likely take some effort to get them. Or, people switching to cheaper versions of insulin.

Or, figuring out a way to get more generics into the game. But lots of those things are hard: keep watching.

Hey, did you like this episode? You might like this other episode, which is a broader explain-er of how much insulin costs in the United States. Good way to support the show is Go to .

We'd especially like to think our research associate Joe Sevits, and of course our Surgeon Admiral Sam. And my book, The Bad Food Bible is on paperback. Go buy a copy, please.