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 / Drugs.com. Prescription drug expenditures have increased by almost $300 billion from 1980 to 2016 based on data from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid service.