Just 3 companies own the global insulin market, and they’re all allergic to fair prices 

Prices for insulin have skyrocketed, and it’s up to the three companies who own the entire market to voluntarily lower them… spoiler alert: they aren’t.


October 26, 2018

Axios reports that insulin pricing has skyrocketed, and a multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical business has formed out of its flame, with a cloud of smoke choking out the rest of the market.

Since there is no alternative, millions of people depend on insulin. But high prices are pricing out customers, leaving many to fear they may not have it when they really need it.

Unfortunately, the medication in the scorpion death grip of the 3 companies that hold the market, and they are the only ones with the power to lower the prices.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Mosquitos of Wall Street

Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi control almost the entire $22B insulin market. Novo’s per-vial list prices top $289, while Sanofi rounds out the bottom at $270.

People with insurance don’t pay full price out of pocket, but uninsured patients or people with high premiums (whose lives also depend on it, mind you) definitely feel the rash of the exorbitant pricing.

So they blame the insurance companies

Which is valid, since the middlemen take advantage of the insulin market through shady rebates. But that in no way means the drug companies’ hands are tied.

According to Axios, the price of the drug is propped up by “patent thickets” created by manufacturers who want to cash in on the high prices.

For now, companies like Novo Nordisk maintain that “affordability remains top of mind.” Sooooo, the notion is there, they’re thinking about it, but… what’s a lowly drug-manufacturing giant to do?

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