MADISON, Wis. — Over the past few years, the prices of insulin have continued to rise and with Senate Republicans’ most recent decision to block the $35 cap, for many, it won’t be getting easier anytime soon.
The $35 monthly cap on the cost of insulin in the private market was blocked on Sunday from being included in Democrats’ economic tax and spending package known as the Inflation Reduction Act.
Without a cap, Thad Schumacher, owner of Fitchburg Family Pharmacy, said paying for insulin will continue to be tough for his customers in Madison.
“Insulin prices, in general, go up over time, so they have steadily increased over the last five years,” said Schumacher. “That results in the patients having a higher copay at the pharmacy.”
“Most boxes of insulin run in the hundreds of dollars, so even if you discount it, it’s still a couple hundred dollars,” Schumacher said.
Dr. Kevin Look, Associate Professor in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin, said not being able to afford insulin is not an option for many Americans having diabetes.
“If you have someone who can not afford their insulin today, that could be somebody in a year or two or a couple years down the road who suddenly needs a limb amputated, and that comes with additional costs and life long care that will lead to greatly increased spending,” said Look.
While the $35 monthly cap for insulin did not get passed in this spending package, Look feels there is enough support on both sides to make it happen in the near future.
“I do think there is a lot of momentum in this, and I think if people do speak up or organizations do speak up to their lawmakers and let them know they are disappointed about this and that this really is a priority,” Look said. “I think it will keep it in the mind of our lawmakers that this is something that needs to be done.”