As per experts, Trump administration might not have the legal power to force deeper discounts at enough pharmacies to make a difference.
Since 1991, growth in insulin prices has been accelerating. The list price of insulin per milliliter in the United States increased on average 2.9 percent annually from 1991-2001, 9.5 percent per year from 2002 and 2012, 20.7 percent annually between 2012 and 2016, and 1.5 percent per year from 2016-2018.
According to a report by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the University of Southern California Center for Health Policy and Economics, between 2007 and 2016, insulin prices by major brands increased by 252 percent, while net prices saw less growth at 57 percent. The average retail prices of insulin in the US were around $300 in 2019, according to BBC.
Furthermore, insulin prices remain relatively high for patients although Trump claims that he’s lowering drug prices at about $300 a vial in 2020. As Stat News explained, most patients require multiple vials a month, with some having to pay thousands of dollars each month. “The research-based biopharmaceutical industry has been working around the clock to develop therapeutics and vaccines to treat and prevent COVID-19. The administration’s proposal today is a reckless distraction that impedes our ability to respond to the current pandemic — and those we could face in the future,” Steve Ubl, president, and chief executive of PhRMA, the largest drug industry trade group, told The Washington Post on the order.
A report based on interviews with health lawyers said the community health centers targeted in the order already sell discounted drugs to patients, and the Trump administration might not have the legal power to force deeper discounts at enough pharmacies to make a difference. Given that none of Trump’s orders for reducing insulin costs have actually been implemented, the claim that insulin has become so cheap cannot be termed as true.