I go online and one of the first things I see is that #193Republicans is trending.

I know that Twitter manipulates its trends to spread a message so I had to look it up.

The House passed a bill to cap insulin prices at $35 per month.

193 Republicans voted against the bill so the Twitter message is that Republicans want you to die for Big Pharma profits.

House votes to cap cost of insulin at $35, bill heads to Senate
Experts say it only costs drug companies $10 to manufacture.

Congress could soon send to the president’s desk a bill that would cap the cost of the life-saving drug insulin at $35 per month — a move that could significantly reduce and rein in out-of-pocket drug costs for millions of Americans with diabetes.

The House approved the bill Thursday by a vote of 232-193, with 12 Republicans joining all Democrats in support.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters on Wednesday that it is “inexcusable” people are being charged exorbitant prices for “a lifesaving and life-sustaining drug whose costs [have] not increased and whose research costs have been amortized a very long period of time ago.”

I am not an expert on insulin by any means.

My dad was a diabetic and was on insulin.

I know that there are many types of insulin out there, my dad had stuff that needed refrigeration and he had a supply of needles for and he had pens with automatic dosing that were shelf stable.

I know that the “research” on insulin isn’t so much about insulin but the drug and delivery systems that make micro dose shelf stable insulin possible.

I know that FDA regulations are expensive and time consuming to comply with for new drugs.

I know that in the US, beef and pork derived insulin was withdrawn from the market in 2006.

I also know that the pharmaceutical company do engage in fuckery with patents which keeps their IP on products long after it should have expired.

I know that the pricing of drugs for Medicare and insurance is as transparent as a block of lead.

I also know that price fixing has never worked to sustainably lower costs on anything, ever.

Lastly, I know that there is a huge insulin market in the US, with about 10% of the population having some form if diabetes.

So, I suspect that this price fixing in the short term, i.e., through the midterm and maybe 2024, will leads to a reduction in insulin prices, but in the long term will increase costs and reduce supply.

I’m all for reducing the price of insulin.

What we need is to attack the problems upstream.

Walmart should be able to contract with a facility to make pig and cow insulin in Texas and sell it as Equate brand insulin behind the counter at their pharmacies without insurance.

I guarantee with a market of 35 million diabetics, they could get it below $35 a month OTC pricing.

But the approval process for that makes it impossible.

The way to fix this is with deregulation, price transparency, and competition, not price fixing.

But that’s not what is going to be done.

Instead the insulin markey us going to get squeezed and stupid people will blame the Republicans for not doing anything to help the little guy, because messaging is more important than effects.

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By J. Kb

11 thoughts on “I don’t think price fixing will fix the problem”
  1. The levels of administration and bureaucracy in medical care is almost beyond belief.

    The Statists’ answer: more bureaucracy (obviously 😉). Sigh.

    1. WRT meds, no bureaucrat wants to have their name associated with another thalidomide. They don’t have to worry about seeing lawyer ads saying, “Did you or a love one die due to methyl-ethyl-whatchamacallit NOT being approved?”

  2. I oppose price fixing out of principle.

    However being in healthcare for a little while I know insulin prices. Most are literally several hundred to over 1,000 dollars per month. Humira is $6095.75 for a 30 day dosage. There are no generics. And guess what? If you have a health insurance plan with a deductible you have to pay all of that out of pocket until the deductible is met.

  3. Yeah… the problem in the medical field is over regulation and totally opaque pricing (with all due respect to Shawn here) to the point you can’t go into any hospital or most medical businesses anywhere and find out what things cost.
    .
    So let’s just do more regulation and price fixing.

  4. I’m on insulin and on Medicare. With insurance, my insulin cost is $350.00+ a bottle per month. Without insurance or a prescription, I buy it at Walmart for less than $25.00 per bottle per month.
    When the demoncrats set the price for fuel back in the oil/raghead fiasco, then all of a sudden there was no fuel to sell, so SHORTAGE. As a side note, an Austin TV station caught them storing fuel in out of business service stations. A friend in south Louisiana, saw loaded tankers anchored off shore because the refinery storage tanks were full. The SERVICE stations (look it up, youngsters) were only allowed 100,000 gallons of fuel per month, so they went out of business. The oil companies immediately bought the property and opened self-service stations, with a 500,000 gallon allowance. You want to kill off the diabetics? Set the price of insulin. And that is what demoncrats have been working toward for decades, kill billions.

  5. This is a problem that was CAUSED by Sleepy Joe. Trump had arranged things to push the price of insulin down; Biden promptly removed that setup.

  6. You’re looking at this wrong:

    Offer companies a carrot, instead of a stick:
    If your insulin retails for under $35/btl, you pay no tax on that insulin sales income.
    If it’s one penny more than that, you pay 500% of the revenue on all company gross sales as an excise tax.
    If you stopped making insulin, you’d pay a 400-500% excise tax on all other sales, with a sliding scale (diabetics will see what I did there) of taxes for any curtailment of production between 100% and 0%.
    If you got your insulin retail down to $25/btl, you’d get a 1% tax break on all sales revenues.

    Insulin would be readily available at $34.99 until Hell froze over, and the price would head towards $25/btl.

    This is one of those times where, if you let the market set the price unhindered, they’ll simply predatorily gouge people without options because they can, and let the miniscule fractional ones simply die, to make a buck or save one. I don’t care if they make 1000% mark-up on optional boner pills, but sentencing people to die or live in poverty because of bad pancreatic DNA is simply abhorrent, and the profits on one should subsidize the other.

  7. The current generation of insulin is created by vat grown human cells. Its use does not cause the body to attack the pancreas. The old insulin used to be pork or beef based. If you ever used it, you would require insulin injections from that day on because your immune system would destroy your pancreas. If you receive the human based insulin, that does not occur.

    When I was diagnosed as diabetic, I had to take insulin for about a week to get my glucose levels under control. Since it was the human based (brand new at that time about 35 years ago), I was able to transition to oral medication only to continue treatment.

    What Trump did regarding insulin was working. Joe Biden rescinded that to help out the profiteers in Big Pharma and to spite Trump. FJB. We need to go back to what it was pre-Biden.

  8. Price gouging is a real problem, Humalog was $39 per vial in 1996, and $650 in 2020. According to an inflation calculator $39 1996 works out to $85 in 2020. See the problem? Now I pay $35 for a 90 day supply, but also $1200 a month for insurance. Bear in mind that’s for a family of three, two of whom are type 1 diabetic so the insulin and Dexcom bills add up.

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