U.S. senators launch bipartisan probe into rising insulin prices

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the committee's top Democrat, on Friday sent letters to the heads of Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi, the leading manufacturers of insulin, seeking answers as to why the drug's cost has rapidly risen.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the committee's top Democrat, on Friday sent letters to the heads of Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi, the leading manufacturers of insulin, seeking answers as to why the drug's cost has rapidly risen. The senators cited similar, large insulin price increases at all three companies, and asked for information on the process used to determine list prices and the process used to determine net prices after negotiations with PBMs and health insurance plans. The letters also asked for information about the cost of research and development, production, revenues, and gross margins from insulin sales. "We are concerned that the substantial increases in the price of insulin over the past several years will continue their upward drive and pose increasingly severe hardships not only on patients that require access to the drug in order to stay alive but also on the taxpayer," the senators wrote.