Diabetes Community Celebrates Build Back Better Act, Potential for $35 Insulin Caps

Diana Isaacs, PharmD, discusses the Build Back Better Act, the potential impact of a monthly spending cap on insulin, and reflects on the progress that has been made in regard to insulin affordability during the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of insulin.

Although politics and medicine often mix like oil and water, the passage of the Build Back Better Act by the US House of Representatives has been celebrated as a historic step forward in insulin affordability by endocrinologists, diabetes specialists, and insulin users alike.

Aimed at improving national infrastructure in the wake of the pandemic, the Build Back Better Act also includes provisions that could contribute to significant changes in the lives of insulin users, including capping insulin co-pays at $35 per month for Medicare beneficiaries, individuals on commercial insurance, and those covered by other group health plans.

"We thank those members of the House of Representatives who supported a national insulin co-pay cap, building on the efforts of state leaders before them. Together, these leaders are working to ensure that millions of people with diabetes will be able to afford their insulin and will not have to skip doses or ration because they don't have enough money to pay for this life-saving drug,” said Lisa Murdock, Chief Advocacy Officer for the American Diabetes Association, in a statement.

The bill also includes other provisions that could improve the lives of insulin users, including the institution of an inflation cap to ensure insulin cost does not increase faster than inflation and allowing government authorities to negotiate the price of certain drugs. A statement from the Endocrine Society echoed a similar sentiment to the American Diabetes Association.

“This bill offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect access to this life-saving medication,” Society President Carol H. Wysham, MD, in a statement. “People with diabetes cannot wait any longer for Congress to take action. We urge the Senate to quickly follow suit.”

For more insight into the reaction to the passage of the Build Back Better Act and how this might impact the lives of insulin users, Endocrinology Network reached out to Diana Isaacs, PharmD, clinical pharmacy specialist and CGM and remote patient monitoring coordinator at Cleveland Clinic Diabetes Center, and that conversation is the subject of this special edition EndoView program.