My name is Bob Parant, and I have been living with type 1 diabetes for 50 years. I am one of the 3.3 million Medicare beneficiaries who need insulin. I was diagnosed during what I call the “dark ages” of diabetes and have had many challenges along the way, including losing my leg.
I am thankful for the insulin that has been developed that I use to manage my disease, but the cost is inhumane. I need insulin to live, but far too often, the high prices of insulin stand in the way of patients accessing this essential drug.
Just one vial of my Humalog insulin is priced at about $275, and most Humalog patients use about two to three vials a month. Without insurance, that price is enormous, and even with Medicare, my insulin can present hundreds of dollars a month in costs at the pharmacy.
I also recently needed triple bypass surgery. Following that, I was prescribed Entresto to treat my heart. When I went to fill my prescription, I received a text from my pharmacy and could not believe it when the text said the prescription would cost me $765. The ridiculously high prices of my prescriptions have a great impact on my life and health.
That’s why I’m so glad our leaders in Washington have finally acted to address insulin costs for Medicare beneficiaries by passing the Inflation Reduction Act. Starting in 2023, insulin costs will be capped at $35 a month per type of insulin, even before beneficiaries have hit our deductibles. An estimated 2.7 million patients will benefit from this provision alone, saving each beneficiary an average of $1,200 each year!
Additionally, price hikes on drugs that exceed inflation will be penalized, curtailing future pharmaceutical company price increases like those that brought insulin products’ price up to their current unaffordable levels. With these provisions, I’ll have consistent, affordable copays for my insulin, and will not have to worry about its price rapidly increasing or my portion of the price increasing month to month.
Starting in 2025, Medicare will also have a $2,000 out-of-pocket cap, helping ensure that my drug costs for other prescriptions will also remain affordable and predictable month to month.
The reforms passed in the Inflation Reduction Act will make a huge difference in my life. The new $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket costs for my prescriptions plus the $35 insulin copay caps mean that I’ll spend much less each year on my drugs. With lower drug costs, I’ll be able to visit my grandchildren more and not worry as much about my retirement funds.
I want to thank the leaders in Congress who fought for these needed reforms that will bring great peace of mind to me and so many other Medicare beneficiaries.