Recently, Novo Nordisk, the largest insulin maker in the world, announced that future increases on list prices for its prescription drugs would be less than 10 percent annually.
If that strikes you as high, you’re not alone. Novo’s announcement keeps the door open for the company to increase prices at a much faster rate than overall health care spending is rising. Data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shows overall health spending grew by 5.8 percent in 2015, due in large part to increased prescription drug spending.
Based on Novo Nordisk’s announcement, it is clear that the company will continue to hike insulin prices, despite the financial burdens already facing patients.
“The prescription drug market is clearly broken when limiting yearly price increases to ten percent is considered bighearted,” said John Rother, executive director of the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP). “Novo Nordisk’s announcement is insulting to the millions of patients that have already endured prescription price hikes for years, and this announcement is proof that there is no end in sight.”
Recently, the American Diabetes Association called on Congress to hold hearings on rising insulin prices. According to The Washington Post, prices for insulin have increased in lock step totaling increases of more than 700 percent since 1996.