Medicine

Express Scripts to offer a way to lower insulin costs

Express Scripts to offer a way to lower insulin costs

In 2018, users of insulin plans by Cigna and Express Cripts were paying an average out-of-pocket cost of $41.50 for a 30-day supply.

The new program, called the Patient Assurance Program, will cover all out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles and copays, for the needed diabetes drug.

The company expects to roll out the program later this year for insurance plans that work with Express Scripts and in 2020 for Cigna plans.

"Together, Cigna and Express Scripts are now able to give people who rely on insulin greater affordability and cost predictability so they can focus on what matters most: their well-being", Miller said.

For the 26 million Americans with diabetes, the price of insulin has become a drug seemingly only for the well-insured as the price tripled over the last decade.

More than 1.2 million Americans live with Type 1 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

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And next Wednesday, the top manufacturers of insulin-Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi-are slated to testify before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee about their drug pricing practices. The companies are working with insulin makers to lower copayments to $25.

Congress is pouring pressure on drugmakers and pharmacy middlemen to ease steep insulin prices for patients with diabetes.

Cigna and Express Scripts clients will activate this new program for participating plans by moving covered insulin products to a lower copayment. For patients, the average annual out-of-pocket spending for insulin jumped from $2,864 to $5,705 in that same time frame, according to the study.

"We have people with diabetes who take insulin who are having trouble affording their insulin", said Stettin. He also believes that manufacturers need to lower list prices and restrict increases to "no more than the consumer price index".

"Every part of the industry has a role to play in lowering prescription drug prices".