Republicans Love Big Pharma and Hate Diabetics

Diabetics
Courtesy of Tobias Oerum (Flickr CC0)

The Senate recently passed an inflation relief bill without one Republican voting to relieve the suffering of working-class Americans. However, not included in the bill is a cap on the price of life-saving insulin. Millions of Americans are being gouged by big pharma as they struggle to pay for a common, life-saving drug.

Republicans demanded this stipulation be removed, although it is an undeniable fact that these greedy companies could easily reduce the cost and remain profitable. Do Republicans hate diabetics, or is money donated to them by big pharma more important than human life and affordability for the average American? The answer is obvious.

The independent Rand Corporation reported the price differences diabetics pay for insulin:

With an average list price of $98.70 per unit in the US, compared with $7.52 in the UK, US insulin sales account for nearly half the pharmaceutical industry’s insulin revenue, though the US makes up only about 15% of the global market.

Both of Indiana’s Republican Senators, Todd Young and Mike Braun, voted against placing a cap on insulin prices.

“Eli Lilly & Co. supports legislation to cap insulin pay at $35 a month,” spokeswoman Antoinette Forbes wrote in a statement emailed to IndyStar on Thursday.

“We support legislation to cap out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Part D and privately insured patients. We believe a cap could provide a critical financial safeguard for patients and support the $35 copay cap for insulin.”

However, when asked if this information was forwarded to Young and Braun, she refused to answer the question.

A company spokesperson was asked if the company genuinely supported the legislation. The response was a lengthy and unconvincing statement about how Lily attempted to keep prices down.

When first asked Tuesday prior to publication whether the company actually supported the legislation, another spokesperson emailed a lengthy statement about ways the company tries to keep down prices, ending with this statement.

Diabetics
Courtesy of Alan Levine (Flickr CC0)

“Lilly is deeply committed to insulin affordability and has long-advocated for holistic, sustainable policy solutions, such as passing through rebates directly to people who use insulin and limiting out-of-pocket costs, that can significantly help people who use insulin.”

When a follow-up question was asked if Lily indeed supported the cap, the company responded with a duplicate copy of its original response.

Follow-up questions to Young and Braun were never answered. On Thursday, both senators voted to kill the bill, which would have created a $35 cap for most in need of the life-saving drug. Both senators have received thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Lily and its employees since 2018.

A representative for the industry, Jay Kenworthy, offered the typical bullshit answer attempting to explain the higher cost of insulin in America than in all other developed nations.

Senator Braun’s excuse mimicked Kenworthy’s baseless claims.

Braun said drug prices are high because “the path from drug producer to pharmacy is complex, opaque, expensive, and full of special interests prioritizing profits over patients.”

“I’ve crafted real solutions that will address the underlying problems with our broken health care system and lower the costs of prescription drugs by pulling back the curtain on how prices are set and restore true market competition to the industry, ” he said in a statement. “And I supported an amendment that would have made insulin available to low-income Americans at significantly discounted rates through community health centers, which all Democrats voted against.”

In other words, big pharma must be allowed to make bloated profits, and our people are expected to find their own solutions. “The truth lives here.” What good is our government? Trust no one in power.

By James Turnage, Novelist

Sources:

IndyStar: Indiana Sens. Todd Young, Mike Braun voted to kill insulin $35 price cap; by Binghui Huang
The Guardian: Republicans vote against insulin bill as price soars, dismaying diabetics; by Michael Sainato

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Tobias Oerum’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Alan Levine’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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