Eli Lilly Avoids Insulin Price Hearing In Front of Congress

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Eli Lilly Avoids Insulin Price Hearing In Front of Congress

Lawmakers in Congress want answers as to why the price of insulin has jumped 500-percent in the last decade.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The chief executives of seven large drug making companies in the United States will be going before a Senate committee today, to answer questions about why insulin prices are so high.

Eli Lilly, which is based in Indianapolis, will not be one of those companies grilled by lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee. The same companies went before the House Finance Committee back in late January.

Lilly was one of three companies sent letters by the committee back in January. They were seeking information regarding recent price increases of more 500-percent or more for insulin, a hormone used to treat diabetes that has been on the market for nearly one hundred years.

In Lilly's case, a dose of insulin was just $35 in 2001. That prices skyrocketed to $234 for the same amount in 2015. 

Kathy Sego testified in the House hearing last month. She told lawmakers that her son, who has Type-1 Diabetes, has started rationing his insulin because, at a cost of $1,700 a month, he's worried his parents cannot afford to get insulin on the regular.

“These hardships can lead to serious medical complications that are entirely preventable and completely unacceptable for the world’s wealthiest country,” Senators on the Finance Committee wrote in a release. “When one insulin product costs the taxpayer more than a billion dollars in one year, the American people ought to know how the company prices its product."

Members of Congress are worried that the price of insulin will only continue to go up, putting more and more Americans who suffer from diabetes at risk.  

(PHOTO: WISH-TV)

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