The Price of Insulin, Explained

This animation explains research published in JAMA Health Forum by Schaeffer Center experts that offers one of the most comprehensive looks at the insulin distribution chain and shows which players are profiting, and by how much, from selling insulin. The video breaks down the players in the distribution chain as well as how the share of profits from insulin changed between 2014 and 2018.

While there has been increased national attention on the costs of insulin and several studies have shown a widening gap between the “sticker” or list price of insulin and what manufacturers ultimately receive, trade secrets and protections have prevented researchers and other outsiders from thoroughly understanding where the money spent on insulin goes across payers the distribution system.

Neeraj Sood, Karen Van Nuys and colleagues combined data from many sources, including reports from state governments that recently passed drug pricing transparency initiatives, to gain greater insight into the economics of the insulin drug distribution system. 

This animation is part of a broader collection of research by Schaeffer Center experts on the distribution chain.