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In the latest flare up over the cost of insulin, several Congressional lawmakers want the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the three big manufacturers of the diabetes treatment for “exploiting” their market power and repeatedly raising prices.

The lawmakers, who are all Democrats, cited instances in which the companies — Eli Lilly (LLY), Novo Nordisk (NVO), and Sanofi (SNY) — raised prices nearly simultaneously. As an example, two of the insulin makers increased prices by 16% within a day of each other. In fact, there were at least 13 such cases involving Sanofi and Novo Nordisk between 2009 and 2019, and Lilly often followed suit, they claimed.


“The extraordinary high cost of insulin is specific to our country,” the lawmakers wrote in a March 25 letter to the FTC Acting Commissioner Chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter. “It is a uniquely American phenomenon that patients with diabetes are regularly forced to ration insulin and risk death… It is clear the insulin market is broken and an FTC investigation and intervention is long overdue.”

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  • What a joke. These members of Congress blather on about list prices. They either don’t know or don’t care about the Senate report cited in footnote 19 of their letter. They should start reading with the section titled “Rebates for Insulins Have Increased Exponentially Since 2013” (page 66).

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