5 Out-of-Control Drug Costs

A one month supply of insulin cost $20 in 1996 — now it's roughly $300 a vial. That's just one of the drugs that's seen skyrocketing prices in the U.S. 💊

Drugs Prices Gone Wild

Back in 1996, the price for a 1-month supply of insulin was $21 — today, the same amount costs diabetics roughly $300 a vial according to the CSRxP. The price of which, on average, tripled between 2002 and 2013. One popular drug, NovoLog, increased in list price by 353% from 2001 to 2016. Insulin cost is a big reason the average annual per-patient spending on treatment for type 1 diabetes increased from $12,467 in 2012 to $18,494 in 2016.

The epinephrine auto-injector can save a life in the case of an allergic reaction. The cost of a 2-pack has risen from $93.88 in 2007 to over $600 in 2016 — a 500% increase in price based on data from Truven Health Analytics.

Albuterol, one of the oldest asthma medicines, was less than $15 a decade ago. Now it costs $50-$100 per inhaler according to the New York Times. A GoodRx analysis of cash prices for asthma inhalers shows that prices have climbed about 35% since 2013, from an average price of around $280 in 2013 to more than $380 today. The average cash price for one inhaler of Advair, a leading medication for asthma, increased from $316 in 2013 to $496 in 2018 – a 56% increase.

A tablet of Daraprim — a drug that treats dangerous infections in people weakened by AIDS and cancer — cost only $1 until 2010. Its price tag skyrocketed to $750 in 2015, thanks to infamous pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, as reported by Technology Journal.

In 2013, a 60-pill bottle of the arthritis drug combo Vimovo cost $138. The same bottle now costs around $2600 as stated on CNN / Prescription drug expenditures have increased by almost $300 billion from 1980 to 2016 based on data from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid service.


08/06/2019 12:03 PMupdated: 08/06/2019 12:50 PM


  • Lim H.
    03/25/2020 09:46

    That why they call it Coporate America, it pure GREED. Big Phama Deceit.

  • Elizabeth T.
    03/24/2020 16:29

    You can get a vial of insulin from Walmart, no insurance, for $18

  • Mike W.
    03/21/2020 21:25

    Thats so true america is full of greed

  • Kristine F.
    03/21/2020 19:45

    Six months work of insulin cost me $6.60, anti cancer meds for a month, $6.60 and arthritis meds the same. That's under $20 per month. I am blessed to be born in Australia and not America.

  • Nelson I.
    03/21/2020 16:30

    That has always been the idea, create a virus disease, manufacture it drug, sell it to people and make good money

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