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Insulin Prices in Arkansas Rose by 54% Between 2013 and 2018, Analysis by ACHI Finds

January 9, 2020

Author

Jennifer Wessel, JD, MPH
Senior Policy Analyst and Data Privacy Officer
501-526-2244
JBWessel@achi.net

 

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The average cost of an insulin prescription in Arkansas rose by more than 50% between 2013 and 2018, a new analysis by ACHI finds.

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes. In Arkansas, there were nearly 288,800 adults with a known diagnosis of diabetes in 2014. Some Arkansans have resorted to taking less than their prescribed doses because of the high cost of insulin, according to reporting by the local news media.

Insulin therapy is an important part of diabetes treatment. Patients and advocacy groups have complained about the price of insulin, which has been skyrocketing across the country. Much of the recent debate in Congress and state legislatures over drug pricing has centered on the high cost of life-saving insulin. Lawmakers in at least two states, Colorado and Illinois, have approved state caps on insulin prices.

ACHI used insurance claims information within the Arkansas Healthcare Transparency Initiative to determine the average cost per insulin prescription in Arkansas for each of the years 2013 through 2018. The average cost includes the amount paid by the insurer plus the patient’s out-of-pocket costs, which vary based on the insurance plan. The cost does not reflect manufacturers’ rebates or coupons. The average days’ supply per prescription is 34.3 days. Our review was confined to insulin prescribed to patients with private insurance.

Our new infographic shows the results of our review: The average cost of an insulin prescription in Arkansas rose from $401 in 2013 to $617 in 2018, an increase of 54%.