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
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  • 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

  • Susan D.
    08/27/2019 06:38

    The government needs to step up and put a cap on these beast. They are just greedy monsters!!!!

  • Donna T.
    08/20/2019 16:11

    Sad and so wrong.

  • Sheila A.
    08/18/2019 02:41

    why dont you stop it

  • Tamara R.
    08/14/2019 01:55

    That’s just awful!! So much greed!! How do they sleep at night seriously!!

  • Dennis F.
    08/12/2019 22:39


  • Jim D.
    08/12/2019 06:56

    Mr. Shkreli has a very punchable face.

  • Jerry S.
    08/11/2019 21:59

    How about three bottles of insulin and I have to pay what the insurance doesn’t

  • Sharon A.
    08/06/2019 15:05

    The greed knows no end. The price of drugs they use to kill people through legealized assisted dying has jumped over 100% - and the doctors here complain they're not getting paid enough to take away a life with assisted suicide. Disgusting professions now - pharmacy and medicine.

  • Wassi W.
    08/06/2019 14:55


  • Sašo S.
    08/06/2019 14:55

    How come that we in Europe are paying 10× less for the same America made, Johnson&Johnson medicine as American people?

  • Brut
    08/06/2019 13:04

    As drug prices skyrocket, many Americans living with diabetes struggle to afford life-saving insulin. That's why a group of patients with type 1 diabetes took a to buy cheaper insulin and advocate for .