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It’s an absurd and uniquely American scandal that an estimated 1.2 million of the nation’s diabetics struggle to afford the insulin they need each day to survive. A month’s supply of the medicine can cost an uninsured individual—or an insured individual who hasn’t met their deductible—more than $1,000; even with rebates, American consumers are likely to pay four times more for insulin than those in other countries, according to a 2018 RAND study. The U.S. government has repeatedly failed to rein in those prices, most recently this summer with the scuttling of a proposal that would have capped the price at $35 a month for many patients. Walmart’s answer to this was launching a private label insulin, ReliOn, in partnership with NovoNordisk. In 2021, the retailer introduced two kinds of analog insulin, i.e. the type used by most people with diabetes in the US, starting at $72/vial, a fraction of the cash price for branded products—a 58%–75% discount, according to the company. The more affordable insulin dovetails with the massive retailer’s ambitions to make health care more accessible; it says cash-paying customers have so far saved more than $15 million on their insulin with ReliOn’s new analog products.
Courtesy of Walmart
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