Governor Gavin Newsom announced plans for California to produce its own low-cost insulin. This is Newsom’s latest effort to make the drug financially accessible for people in need. “Nothing, nothing epitomizes market failures more than the cost of insulin,” Newsom said in a video posted on the governor’s official Twitter page. Newsom previously signaled his goal for the state to make its own drug in January, as the price of the drug increases and as many Americans are diagnosed with .
The state plans to set aside $100 million from its $308 billion 2022-23 budget. Half of the money would go towards funding a California-based manufacturing facility. In addition, the facility “will provide new, high-paying jobs and a stronger supply chain for the drug.” While the other $50 million will cover the cost of developing insulin products.
The High Cost of Insulin
More than eight million Americans depend on insulin. Unfortunately, the medication is among the prescription drugs experiencing price surges. For instance, one brand of insulin, Humalog, used to cost $21 per vial when it debuted in 1996. It now costs ten times what Kasia Lipska, an associate professor at Yale School of Medicine and the lead author of the study, told Yale News.
Among Americans who use insulin, 14.1% spent at least 40% of what’s left of their income on the drug alone. According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the high cost has led an estimated 1 in every four people with diabetes to ration or skip doses. Sadly, patients of color are disproportionately affected due to most likely being uninsured or underinsured.