Daylight On Diabetes Drugs: Nevada Bill Would Track Insulin Makers’ Profits
Patients notched a rare win over the pharmaceutical industry Monday when the Nevada Legislature revived a bill requiring insulin makers to disclose the profits they make on the life-sustaining drug. In a handful of other states, bills addressing drug prices have stalled.
Many of the 1.25 million Americans who live with Type 1 diabetes cheered the legislative effort in Nevada as an important first step in their fight against skyrocketing costs of a drug on which their lives depend. The cost of insulin medications has steadily risen over the past decade by nearly 300 percent.
Prominent patient advocacy groups, like the American Diabetes Association, have maintained stony silence while diabetes patients championed the bill and lobbied the legislature during this debate — a silence that patients and experts say stems from financial ties.
“Normally all of the patient advocacy groups rally around causes and piggyback on each other in a productive way — that’s what advocacy groups are good at — but that hasn’t been the case here,” said Thom Scher, chief operating officer of Beyond Type 1, which does not accept donations from the pharmaceutical industry. Beyond Type 1 has not issued a formal opinion on the Nevada bill.
Many of the dozens of U.S. diabetes advocacy organizations, large and small, garner significant portions of their funding from insulin manufacturers. The Nevada bill also requires such organizations operating in-state to disclose all contributions they receive from the pharmaceutical industry to discourage that sort of conflict.
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