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Insulin price cap assists Arkansans with costs



Little Rock, Arkansas – Even though the cost of insulin might occasionally be unaffordable, millions of Americans rely on it as a life-saving prescription. Anne Pace, a pharmacist in Little Rock at Kavanaugh Pharmacy, encounters it frequently.

“They’re gonna have to adjust how much they’re using, maybe suboptimally, because they can’t afford to get their insulin,” Pace said. “The medications we’re talking about, patients have to have in order to maintain their life.”

According to Pace, some vials cost more than $200, making them a pricey but necessary item that will soon change.

“Insulin is a life-needed medication for patients that are diabetics,” Pace said. “It shouldn’t be cost-prohibitive for patients to do that.”

One of the biggest producers of insulin, Eli Lilly, has declared that the price of its insulin will be capped at $35 per month. The price cap will significantly affect the millions of Americans who have diabetes.

“I’m excited about it because I use insulin,” Director of Diabetes at UAMS Dr. Joseph Henske said. “Just like anyone else, it’s expensive.”

Henske is aware of how challenging and expensive prices might be for his patients in addition to his own personal experience.

“It’s long overdue,” Henske said. “I think people have been pushing for this… it was just a matter of time.”

Henske asserts that the new cap might persuade other businesses to follow suit.

“This is going to definitely start a cascade of events where other companies are going to match this,” Henske said. “If not try to beat it.”

Kavanaugh Pharmacy and Pace are prepared for the transition. They will, however, need to exercise some patience, especially with something of this magnitude.

“My guess is that patients will have those lower copays,” Pace said. “The insurance companies will then work with Eli Lilly on those drugs…they’ll figure out how the cost is going to be made up there.”


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