The California Insulin Crisis Explained: A Primer on Insulin Pricing, Past Legislative Action, and the Path Forward

June 18, 2020

With both manufacturer-set list prices for insulin and median out-of-pocket cost per insulin vial nearly tripling over the past two decades, insulin has become less affordable over time for all Californians at an alarming rate.5,9  Through comprehensive policy efforts that address every level of the insulin supply chain, from manufacturer set list-prices to out-of-pocket costs faced by patients, California can be a leading example of how state policy can promote insulin affordability. 

This policy brief, co-authored by Cal-IHEA Research Fellow, Camila Hurtado, MS, and Cal-IHEA Health Policy Analyst, Martin Kyalwazi, provides an overview of the market and policy forces that have driven California’s insulin affordability crisis. It also provides a set of policy recommendations that will lead to a healthier California, such as caps on insulin cost-sharing for all Californians regardless of insurance status, year-to-year limits on insulin list price increases, and legislation that calls for rebates to be passed through to patients at the point-of-sale.

Read the policy briefing HERE.