Insulin Prices Are Dramatically Higher in the United States Than in Other Countries
Oct 6, 2020
Insulin prices have increased dramatically over the past decade in the United States. The authors compared international prices for insulins using a price index approach. They describe the shares of volume and sales for all insulins and different categories of insulin in the United States and 32 comparison countries in 2018.
Results from a Price Index Analysis
|PDF file||0.8 MB||
Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.
Insulin prices have increased dramatically over the past decade in the United States. In this report, the authors compare international prices for insulins using a price index approach. They describe the shares of volume and sales for all insulins and different categories of insulin (including insulin type and timing characteristics) in the United States and 32 comparison Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in 2018. For the market basket of insulins sold in both the United States and comparison countries, the authors report ratios of U.S. insulin prices to insulin prices in other countries. They found that manufacturer prices in the United States were considerably higher (often five to ten times higher) than those in other OECD countries for all insulins combined and for different types of insulin. Although the authors focused their analysis on manufacturer prices rather than on net prices after potential rebates, the analysis suggests that U.S. insulin prices would still have been considerably higher — about four times higher — than those in other countries even when accounting for potential rebates.
Background and Analysis
Summary of Findings
This research was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and conducted by the Payment, Cost, and Coverage Program in RAND Health Care.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.