Society Leads Insulin Affordability Advocacy in 2021

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin and despite this important milestone, the price of insulin remains too high for those who rely on it.

In 2021, the Endocrine Society has been the leading voice in the diabetes community in urging Congress to address this ongoing crisis. While our work on this issue is not finished, we have made important progress in advancing policies which would make insulin more affordable for millions of Americans living with diabetes. Our message and position have been heard by the Biden administration and Congress. Here are some of the highlights of our efforts over the past year:

  • Insulin Affordability Position Statement: The Society published an updated position statement with recommendations to policy makers on addressing insulin access and affordability. The Biden administration incorporated our recommendations into President Biden’s plan to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
  • Submitted Statement During Key Congressional Hearing: In May, the House Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee held a hearing on legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs. We submitted a statement to the subcommittee thanking them for holding the hearing and calling on Congress to pass legislation to make prescription drugs more affordable.  
  • Clinician Hill Day: In addition to ongoing meetings with congressional leadership by Endocrine Society staff, this past summer the Society hosted a virtual Hill Day for our clinician members to meet with their representatives and senators in Congress. During these visits, Society members urged Congress to pass legislation lower the cost of insulin.
  • Physician and Provider Group Letter: In September, we led a letter to congressional leadership signed by several physician and provider organizations calling on Congress to pass legislation to make insulin affordable as soon as possible.
  • Patient Stories: We asked Society members to share stories concerning their patients’ lack of access to affordable insulin. We shared a sample of the stories we collected with congressional offices to help them understand the urgency of this issue.

The Society has been successful in increasing the visibility of the issue of affordable access to insulin and influencing many policy makers that action needs to be taken this year to lower the cost of insulin. However, congressional action on drug pricing is tied to a much larger piece of legislation to advance domestic policy priorities that faces several political hurdles in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

We will continue to raise awareness of this during Diabetes Awareness Month in November. The Society is planning to host a virtual congressional briefing in late November focusing on 100 Years of Insulin. The briefing will highlight the success of insulin over the last century but also look at the future of insulin, diabetes research, and diabetes care. Please stay tuned for more information about the briefing. Finally, we have launched an online advocacy campaign for Society members to contact your legislators directly about this important issue. Please take action today so we can keep this issue on Congress’s priority list by visiting www.endocrine.og/takeaction.

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