Why doesn’t the AARP seem to care about volatile insulin prices?

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One fact that may surprise many is that the net price of insulin has been decreasing for years.  But much to the dismay of those who depend on the drug to survive, those negotiated savings are rarely shared directly with patients — who see the list price of the drug climbing.  As a result, patients with chronic conditions (like diabetes) are paying higher out-of-pocket costs.  And unfortunately, PBMs’ business practices only exacerbate the situation.

PBMs — the middlemen of America’s healthcare system—are notorious for raising drug prices, and insulin is no exception.  A 2018 study from the American Diabetes Association found that PBMs’ efforts to “negotiate” drug costs actually contribute to higher list prices.  This system incentivizes higher list prices and larger rebates — only those discounts are not passed along to patients at the pharmacy counter, leading to higher health care costs.

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ht/ NAAC

6 Comments on Why doesn’t the AARP seem to care about volatile insulin prices?

  1. The AARP is nothing but an extension of the democrat party that helped push Obama care and the anti gun agenda to name a few. I get mail from them at least once a month since I turned 50, too damn long ago to mention. Great for starting fires in the woodburner.

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  2. The naïve would say that this self-serving behavior of PBMs is an UNINTENDED consequence of the MMA¹. The realist/cynic would say it is an INTENDED consequence.

    There’s an illuminating write-up of this nasty piece of legislation at MedicareVotes.org. Hastert, DeLay, and W-the-dense pushed for it. What else do you need to know aside from the virtual certainty that the law itself was written by med insurance and pharma lobbyists?

    1. Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003

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  3. @Different Tim — Until I read the linked article at AT, I had NO IDEA that this is the AARP setup:

    …AARP doesn’t actually represent the interests of its members. Rather, it reflects those of its corporate funders: UnitedHealth Group (UHG) — the nation’s largest health care insurance company — and UHG’s wholly owned subsidiary, OptumRx. Each year, those businesses provide AARP with nearly 40 percent of the organization’s entire operating budget, dwarfing the amount received from membership dues. And here’s the kicker: UHG’s subsidiary, OptumRx, is one of the country’s biggest PBMs.

    (Boldface added)

    What a scam.

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  4. “The AARP is nothing but an extension of the democrat party that helped push Obama care and the anti gun agenda to name a few.”….

    And an extension of the insurance industry…

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