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HSR&D Citation Abstract

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Luo J, Gellad WF. Origins of the Crisis in Insulin Affordability and Practical Advice for Clinicians on Using Human Insulin. Current Diabetes Reports. 2020 Jan 29; 20(1):2.
Abstract: PURPOSE OF REVIEW: High insulin prices and cost-related insulin underuse are increasingly common and vexing problems for healthcare providers. This review highlights several factors that contribute to high prices and limited generic competition in the US insulin market. RECENT FINDINGS: An opaque and complex pricing and reimbursement system for insulin, allegations of collusive practices by insulin manufacturers, and a lack of generic competition drive and sustain high insulin prices. When combined with increasing insurance deductibles and cost sharing, these factors contribute to cost-related insulin underuse and are associated with adverse clinical outcomes. Healthcare providers facing patients with type 2 diabetes who struggle to afford insulin should consider initiating or switching from analogue to human insulin as one way to help address the challenges of access and affordability. However, it is also important to support initiatives to advocate for affordable pricing for insulin for patients who can benefit from the flexibility offered by many of the newer insulin preparations.

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