Health insurer says it will limit insulin prices by $ 25 for a month's supply under new program


(CNN VAN / Gray News) – A health insurer says a new program will help families who need to pay for life-saving insulin.

Cigna said Wednesday it is launching the Patient Assurance Program.

According to the company, the plan will cover the extra expenses for a 30-day supply of insulin for $ 25.

People with type 1 diabetes do not naturally produce it in their body and need it to regulate their blood sugar levels. Without that, they can die in a few days.

Cigna's announcement comes a day after the Food and Drug Administration announced it would bring competition to the insulin market. The federal agency sees this as a way to reduce prices.

On average, Cigna says patients paid almost $ 42 a month in extra drug expenses last year. This includes deductibles, co-payments or coinsurance.

Pharmaceutical companies have been criticized by supporters of the overload of uninsured insulin patients. The parents blamed the companies for the death of their children, who in some cases had to ration their insulin when they could not pay up to $ 1,000 a month for the vital hormone.

One report found a jump in prices for all types of insulin and insulin products. He noted that point-of-sale prices almost doubled between 2012 and 2016.

In October, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson filed suit against a trio of pharmaceutical companies that effectively control the insulin market, Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, claiming they have increased the price list of insulin, making it less affordable for patients on high deductible plans, the insured and the elderly in Medicare. "

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