On Friday, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D- Texas 16) discussed the findings from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on the high costs of prescription drugs for diabetes patients in El Paso.
El Paso has about 19,000 Medicare beneficiaries on insulin, which is often cheaper in other countries than it is in the U.S., the Congresswoman. Escobar said that in El Paso, an uninsured diabetes patient can expect to pay $286 for insulin, compared to $33 in Australia, $51 in the United Kingdom and $70 in Canada.
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The Congresswoman from El Paso released the findings of the report and discussed her work to decrease the costs of insulin and other high cost prescription drugs.
The El Paso Diabetes Association, Paso del Norte Community Foundation, AARP El Paso, and El Pasoans with Diabetes also participated in the discussion.
The reason prices are so high is that certain federal programs can't negotiate directly with drug manufacturers.
There are also no generic brands and only 3 companies control the majority of the insulin market worldwide.
Escobar has cosponsored a bill that would allow the Secretary of Health and Human services to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies.
If companies negotiate in bad faith, the government can issue a competitive license for the medication to be produced as a generic brand: