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PBMs, drugmakers both to blame for rising insulin prices, legislators say at hearing

April 11, 2019 / Jacqueline Renfrow

There's plenty of blame to go around in the pharmaceutical supply chain for the rising cost of insulin, legislators said at a hearing Wednesday. Diana DeGette, D-Colorado, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, said “many entities share blame for the system” that has led to a jump in the price of insulin; the average list price nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013. Congressman Greg Walden, R-Oregon, agreed that while companies like Express Scripts were mitigating the problem through programs like one that would cap out-of-pocket costs for a 30-day supply of insulin at $25, these are only temporary solutions. “We keep hearing that net prices are flat or increasing and rebates are being passed onto health plans, not patients,” said Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Kentucky. “We have short-term solutions and we collectively need to find a permanent solution.” Representatives heard from witnesses representing pharma co...