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July 4, 2017

Human Insulin for Type 2 Diabetes: An Effective, Less-Expensive Option

Author Affiliations
  • 1Section of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 2Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Nutrition, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 3Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Clinical Nutrition, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
JAMA. 2017;318(1):23-24. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.6939

Affordability of insulin has become a major issue for patients with diabetes in the United States.1 The price of insulin, particularly insulin analogues, has increased substantially over the past 2 decades.1 Pharmacy prices for 1 vial of glargine or detemir (long-acting insulin analogues) or 1 vial of lispro or aspart (short-acting insulin analogues) now exceed $170 (Table). Prefilled pen injectors are even more expensive. Insurance may cover some of the cost, but the burden is increasingly shifting to patients in the form of higher premiums and copayments. As a result, insulin analogues are not feasible for many uninsured or underinsured patients.