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The Winners and Losers of the Proposed Insulin Cost Cap

Medpage Today recently published an article co-authored by Rena Conti, Associate Professor of Markets, Public Policy, and Law, discussing how a proposed insulin cost cap will affect different individuals.   

Rena Conti

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April 8, 2022

Medpage Today recently published an article co-authored by Rena Conti, Associate Professor of Markets, Public Policy, and Law, discussing how a proposed insulin cost cap will affect different individuals.   

This bill being debated in Congress would regulate the cost of insulin to roughly $35 per 30-day supply and would help reduce out of pocket costs for nearly 40% of patients using insulin to treat diabetes. Research on this topic also found that insulin manufacturers would profit from this capped price point because of the increased demand and usage of the now affordable insulin.  

Though the price cap would benefit some, it would also negatively impact others. Since the cap would burden privately ensured patients’ insurers, insurers might raise premiums for all of their enrollees, even those not taking insulin. Among others that it would also negatively affect are the people dealing with financial problems from other prescription drugs. This cap could delay the movement of trying to lower all prescription prices by appeasing a portion of the movement focused on insulin. 

“By defusing this outrage, an insulin cost-sharing cap could unintentionally inhibit this momentum, harming patients who face financial toxicity from other prescription drugs.” 

Rena M. Conti is an Associate Professor at the Boston University Questrom School of Business. From 2006 through June 2018, Professor Conti was an Associate Professor of Health Economics and Policy at the University of Chicago Medical School and the Harris School of Public Policy. She is a health economist and her research focuses on the organization, financing and regulation of medical care. She has written extensively on the pricing, demand and supply of prescription drugs.