Durbin Visits OSF Heart Of Mary Medical Center To Highlight Efforts To Lower The Price Of Insulin And Other Prescription Drugs

URBANA  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today visited OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center to highlight Democratic efforts to lower the price of insulin and other prescription drugs. Last year, Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which in caps the cost of insulin at $35 per month under Medicare, caps annual out-of-pocket spending for drugs at $2,000 for seniors, enables Medicare to negotiate for lower prices with Big Pharma, and penalizes manufacturers who hike drug prices higher than inflation. As a result of these Democratic legislative efforts and advocacy, the three largest manufacturers of insulin recently announced significant price reductions for patients.  

“For years, the greed of pharma companies has forced more than one million Americans to ration or cut back doses of insulin,” said Durbin. “Thankfully, we passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which is bringing major relief for diabetics across Illinois and our nation. This historic legislation will lower drug prices, hold Big Pharma accountable, and allow hospital systems like OSF to continue delivering quality care at an even more affordable price. I’ll keep working in Washington to ensure no more Illinoisans have to make the impossible choice between their life-saving medication and financial wellbeing.”  

“OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center serves people from all walks of life,” said JT Barnhart, President of OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center. “One barrier to improving health we often hear about is the affordability of prescription drugs, specifically insulin. OSF HealthCare has several ways to help people bridge the gap, like case managers and social workers. But we also applaud the work Senator Durbin and his colleagues are doing to make insulin more affordable.”

Of the 34 million patients with diabetes in America, approximately eight million require daily insulin. Basic insulin was discovered more than 100 years ago, and the patent was sold for just $1. The insulin market is dominated by three companies, whose blockbuster insulin products have had their prices increased more than six-fold in the past two decades. Whereas a vial of insulin can cost up to $350 in the United States, the exact same vial can be bought in Canada for less than $50.