In late July, a bipartisan group of four senators unveiled the Insulin Price Reduction Act (IPRA), a bill1 intended to make insulin cheaper for patients. The bill proposes to drive price reductions by drug companies by providing them with incentives to roll back the list price of insulin products to 2006 levels. Specifically, IPRA would make it illegal for pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and insurers to recover rebates from manufacturers that reduce the prices they charge wholesalers for insulin to those 2006 levels. IPRA also would require PBMs and insurers to pass on those lower prices to patients. In addition, the bill requires PBMs and insurers to waive the deductible for insulin products that meet the price-reduction requirements.

The rising cost of drugs has been a prominent issue in the United States for decades. Both major political parties have made efforts to reduce prices a prominent part of their platforms, and almost every candidate in the 2020 presidential race has a plan for doing so. There are literally thousands of media articles and pieces every year about high drug prices. And there is one drug that in the past few years has come to symbolize the entire problem of high drug prices in the United States — insulin.

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