Physician: Rapid Rise in Insulin Prices "Totally Unwarranted."


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    Fernando Ovalle, M.D., is an associate professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Division of Endocrinology and director of the Comprehensive Diabetes Clinic.

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Fernando Ovalle, M.D., associate professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Division of Endocrinology and director of the Comprehensive Diabetes Clinic, says if a new report from Monday on the skyrocketing price of the life-saving drug insulin is true, the federal government needs to intervene. 

The Monday report from Kaiser Health said the price of insulin has risen 240 percent over the past decade to often more than $300 a vial today, with price rises from a few companies frequently in lockstep.

"These price increases are totally unwarranted as many of these products were already developed and available," Ovalle says. "The introduction of follow-on biologics (i.e. generics) did not seem to have much of an impact, and for most patients, these products are not a luxury or a choice but rather a necessity. Many are insulin dependent for life. It is time the government does something about these ridiculous prices."

More than 23.1 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes, which costs $245 billion in medical expenditures per year in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control

More on Fernando Ovalle is available here.

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