Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a proposal to lower prescription drug prices and out-of-pocket costs by ending the use of rebates in Federally funded health insurance plans (Medicare and Medicaid). If finalized, the rule will help stop the cycle of price increases for insulin, and will require any discounts from insulin manufacturers to be given directly to patients at the point of sale.
The T1D community needs your help to send a comment letter to HHS in support of this proposal before the comment deadline ends on Monday, April 8:
- Paste the comment text provided below into the large dialogue box labeled “comment,” then click “continue”
- Check the box near the bottom of the page, labeled “I read and understand the statement above”
- Click “submit comment”
- You will then see a screen confirming receipt of the comment — at that point, you can choose to have a receipt emailed to you
I am joining JDRF to express strong support for this proposed regulation.
I have first-hand knowledge of how challenging it can be for a person with type 1 diabetes (T1D) to afford life-savings medications. Numerous studies have shown that the price of insulin has been rising steeply for many years now. This can be a significant financial burden, even for those with reasonable economic resources. For those with lower incomes, it can be catastrophic. Without insulin, people with T1D will die.
Insurers and their pharmacy benefit managers should work hard to obtain the lowest prices possible for the medications they cover, and those reduced prices should be passed directly and entirely to the people who use those medications. Using these savings to reduce everyone’s premiums, rather than protecting those with high costs, is an upside down insurance model. It should be righted.
For that reason, I strongly support the Department’s proposal to prohibit the use of rebates that are passed to plans or PBMs, and instead require that all such discounts be passed in their entirety to beneficiaries at the point of sale.
I also encourage the Department to work with Congress to ensure that the use of rebates is ended in the commercial market as well so that the competitive dynamic that drives prices up — that is so damaging to patients — is ended.
Every letter helps — send a letter to HHS in support of this proposal now to end the system of rebates in Medicare and Medicaid and help lower the cost of insulin. And please forward this to your friends and family and ask them to do the same.