r/news Jan 14 '22 Silver 19 Gold 1 Helpful 19 Wholesome 18 Evil Cackle 3

Shkreli ordered to return $64M, is barred from drug industry


View all comments


u/YourDamnRightItIs Jan 14 '22

MSM makes a big deal about this guy but it's a show. There's no movement on drug reform in the US. Insulin prices are still how much?


u/the_busticated_one Jan 14 '22

Last time I checked, cash price for 10 days of insulin for my kid was $300. Granted, that's been 3 or 4 years, so I'm sure it's increased.

Literally, just the vial of insulin. That's not syringes, test strips, etc.


u/thrilla-noise Jan 14 '22

and literally the same drug from the same factory in the same quantity is around $20 OTC in Canada without any insurance.


u/16semesters Jan 15 '22

To be fair, NPH and Regular insulin is about 25$ USD without insurance in America.

The expensive insulins are far better medications though, and those are the expensive ones.

Walmart's other ReliOn insulins — NPH, Regular, and 70/30 mix — are all human insulin rather than analog insulin,and sell for about $25 a vial.



u/thrilla-noise Jan 15 '22

Yeah, there are shit insulins that don’t work as well available cheap. That’s true. They aren’t equivalent to drugs like Humalog, and aren’t fast acting enough to be used in pumps.

There is zero reason for Humalog to cost what it does in the US other than greed.

Humalog is over 25 years old, but has consistently gone up in cost. Humalog specifically is around $20 OTC with no insurance in Canada, and an exactly identical product is several hundred dollars in the US.


u/shieldoversword Jan 15 '22

You actually want both fast acting and slow release insulin variants for an insulin regimen. The slow release helps you manage your blood sugar between meals and the fast release stuff helps you put away the large influx of glucose that happens with bigger meals. The Walmart brand is a mix of both that you’re supposed to take with breakfast and dinner, the fast component helps with the meal and the slow component helps you in between.

So I wouldn’t say it’s “shit” tier bad, but it’s not really ideal compared with the usual regimen given to new type II diabetics with basal insulin once a day and bolus insulin three times daily with meals.

Insulin pumps are not super common, probably more so in type I diabetics that need a constant supply of insulin since their body isn’t producing any anymore.

But in general, yeah insulin is way too expensive here for being an absolutely essential drug, and it basically turns diabetes into a life altering disease for a lot of people who don’t have insurance or the financial means to afford insulin, since they’re unlikely to manage it well and end up with serious kidney disease, loss of vision, neuropathy, etc


u/the_busticated_one Jan 15 '22

You actually want both fast acting and slow release insulin variants for an insulin regimen.

From the perspective of the parent of a T1D:

Not if you're managing with a pump. (of course, those weigh in about $4-5k for the pump, plus consumables)

It may have changed in the last couple of years, but 'state of the art' pumps 6 years ago used fast-acting insulin, configured for a basal rate over the course of the day, coupled with a bolus at meals. The pump basically used fast-acting insulin over time to mimic the effect of a slow acting insulin.

There wasn't a need for a slow-acting insulin as long as the pump was functioning properly. That said, we still kept it around.


u/thrilla-noise Jan 15 '22

It may have changed in the last couple of years,

It has not changed. The only thing that changed is that fast acting insulin is double the cost.


u/the_busticated_one Jan 15 '22


Thankfully, I've got good insurance with decent copays.

My son was diagnosed with Type 1 in 2012 (they're an adult now), and I'll never forget the conversation with the pharmacist when we picked up that first batch of supplies - insulin, needles, test strips, ketone test strips, etc, etc.

He puts 2 Kmart shopping bags - filled to busting - on the counter and says "So, would you like the good news? Or the bad news?"

I asked him for the good news: "Good news is, you've got really good insuranance. "

So, I asked him for the bad news: "Well, the total is $615 today."

Between that, and the medical bills, even with insurance it was an expensive month.


u/thrilla-noise Jan 15 '22

It’s basically like having an extra mortgage/rent payment for life, and if you lose your job it doubles (because you lose your insurance with your job).