California Plans to Tackle High Insulin Prices By Making its Own

The cost of insulin in the United States is high, with an average cost of around $100 per unit. That’s more than eight to 10 times the average price in similar countries. This cost-prohibitive nature causes an estimated 1 in 4 Americans with diabetes to ration their insulin. Now, California is hoping to address the issue by making its own.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced that the state plans to dedicate $100 million toward insulin development, with half going toward building a California-based insulin manufacturing facility and the rest going to make the product. The money involved is already included in the state’s budget.

As part of the announcement, the governor said, “Nothing epitomizes market failures more than the cost of insulin. Many Americans experience out-of-pocket costs anywhere from $300 to $500 per month for this life-saving drug. California is now taking matters into our own hands.”

He added that the state development would lead to cheaper insulin, “close to at-cost,” which he said is important in ensuring that people don’t go into debt to obtain this necessary medication.


In a survey from CharityRx, 80% of diabetes patients reported getting into credit card debt to purchase insulin, with that debt averaging $9,000. Of those who had trouble covering the cost, 83% said they’d been concerned they couldn’t cover other day-to-day expenses due their medication bill. As a result, they reported cutting back on things like clothing, food, and their rent or mortgage.

Other states have taken steps to help address this issue, as well, with 20 states and the District of Columbia enacting laws that put out-of-pocket caps on insulin prices.

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