While corporations should absolutely be allowed to make large profits from medical innovations as an incentive to continue to create newer and better drugs, that is not what is happening with insulin. The first dose of insulin was given to a diabetic child in 1922. So, how is it that today, the cost for it is sky high instead of it being a dirt cheap, generic drug?
Essentially, it’s a scam.
Corporations make tiny tweaks to the formula, copyright it and charge outrageous amounts for a very cheap drug while preventing competitors from producing it cheaply. Congress should have fixed this long ago, but they get an awful lot of campaign contributions to leave this broken, abusive copyright system in place. To his eternal credit, Donald Trump did something about this. He cut a deal with big pharma to reduce the cost of insulin and EpiPens at 1000 health care facilities, but Biden froze the rule in January to delay its implementation.
After initially pausing the policy when after taking office, the administration is now officially halting it. As Fox Business reported:
The White House this week gave President Biden the greenlight to move forward with removing a Trump-era health care policy designed to bring down the price of insulin.
The measure, signed off on under the previous administration in December, aimed to require some 340B community health centers to deliver savings to low-income patients for insulin and epinephrine in a bid to bring down unaffordable prices.
As Lauren Boebert said:
Raise insulin prices at home but buy 500,000,000 vaccines for other countries.
Sounds like America Last. Sounds like Joe Biden.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) June 10, 2021
Of course, there is a special interest group that is applauding the move. The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) ludicrously claimed that reducing the cost of poor patients wasn’t worth it because it creates too much paperwork. Perhaps asking them to fill out an extra form so a poor diabetic that needs insulin can get it cheaper is too much to ask.
Long story short, the Biden Administration appears to be sticking it to poor people who need insulin primarily because Donald Trump was the one who tried to help them. If anything, Trump didn’t go far enough. Insulin should be a very cheap, generic drug and if members of Congress cared more about the people they’re supposed to serve than the corporations that give them donations, it would have happened decades ago.
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