Biden Freezes Rule Capping Insulin And Epipen Prices

Biden Freezes Rule Capping Insulin And Epipen Prices

Biden Freezes Rule Capping Insulin And Epipen Prices

Insulin and Epipen prices are going to rise again. Biden put a freeze on the rule President Trump imposed that would’ve capped insulin and epipen prices.

“The HHS Thursday froze the former Trump administration’s December drug policy that requires community health centers to pass on all their insulin and epinephrine discount savings to patients.

Centers that don’t pass on the savings wouldn’t qualify for federal grants. The rule, which was finalized in late December, is delayed until March 22, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a Federal Register post.”

One of President Trump’s key initiatives on the healthcare front was to work to lower prescription drug prices across the board. This would be a significant help to those with very little income and especially for our seniors. In fact, his initiative was slated to cut prescription drug prices by as much as 66%!. 

Can you imagine how much that would help the elderly? A huge amount of savings that would mean a positive impact upon their budget and their living situations! For all seniors, the costs of prescriptions such as insulin, something that is needed EVERY SINGLE DAY, currently take a huge chunk out of their monthly budget. A 66% savings would be so incredibly beneficial. 

Well, the Biden Administration believes otherwise.

With one stroke of a pen, Biden dropped the hammer on the price caps and savings discounts. This freeze is being touted as beneficial because the price cap rule needs to be scrutinized. Scrutinized for what? Oh, I see. If any of President Trump’s orders raise “fact, law, or policy” concerns, then the rule goes out the window and it’s back to price-gouging.

Epipens are manufactured by one company, Mylan NV. It’s a prescription only medication that is vital to those with severe allergies. However, unless you are able to find the generic that is a 2-pack costing approximately $110, the actual price point of an Epipen is nearly $700. That is for a two-pack only. And quite a number of insurance companies do not cover some or any of the cost. 

People with diabetes who need insulin whether by pill or injection utilize insulin on a constant basis. As pointed out above, having costs of that go up on a continual basis has led diabetes sufferers over the years to gamble with their health by eking out their dosages because they can’t afford to purchase insulin every month. 

President Trump sought to alleviate that burden and work to keep Americans healthy and safe. He sought to keep Big Pharma for price-gouging to the detriment of American health. 

““President Trump has already done more than any other President to lower drug costs,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “No President has ever taken action on drug prices as bold as any one of today’s individual actions. Today’s executive orders will deliver billions of dollars in discounts directly to patients at the pharmacy counter, safe low-cost imported drugs for Americans, the best deals for America on highly expensive drugs, and direct discounts passed on to patients on important drugs from community health centers. The President’s new efforts to cut drug costs are about making it affordable for American patients to be in control of their own health, their own healthcare choices, and the care they decide on with their own doctor.””

The Biden Administration sent a major signal on Wednesday that American health is not their priority. 

Agreed. One big thing with President Trump’s policy order is that this was intended to help those who do NOT have access to insulin or EpiPens through Medicaid or Medicare. This was intended to provide access to those very necessary drugs at an affordable cost via health centers. Furthermore, this was intended to be a strong start at fixing a broken and politicized system. 

“This investigation makes clear that consumers are the only ones losing out in America’s broken drug pricing system, since every part of the pharmaceutical supply chain benefits from higher list prices,” Wyden said in a statement.

The report found that Novo Nordisk and Sanofi — two of the largest insulin makers in the U.S. — would closely monitor the other’s prices and match or top any price increases, sometimes within hours or days of each other.”

The Biden Administration is well aware of these issues. However, instead of letting the rule stand, a freeze is put in place. And not a single person in the media has questioned why. Not a single person in the media is concerned that the price-gouging will continue. 

This freeze is also very concerning for another reason. I wouldn’t put it past the Biden Administration to magically find that there is some negative “fact, law, or policy” concern in place with President Trump’s executive order. Thus ensuring the freeze is permanent. 

Welcome Instapundit Readers!

Feature Photo Credit: Diabetes, blood sugar, insulin by stevepb via Pixabay, cropped and modified

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7 Comments
  • Cameron says:

    Liberal diabetics already voted for Biden so they aren’t needed any more. Conservative diabetics can die off. At least that seems to be the prevailing view amongst people like that.

  • Mary says:

    The compassionate Dear Leader. NOT!

  • Sal says:

    I live in the Czech Republic and my daughter has a tree nut allergy. Cost of an Epipen here is about $50 USD. Also, that’s the actual cost that I pay here for an Epipen, it is NOT covered by my insurance.

  • Chad King says:

    Perhaps I’m too cynical. But maybe Biden wants to wait a few months to impose the same action taken by Trump and claim the benefit as a result of his policies. Can’t have Orange Man Bad getting the credit for his policies!

    • GWB says:

      It’s merely a choice for your cynicism. Because he’s also got to get in the fix for the people that support his (and his class’) political campaigns. So, go ahead and be cynical – you’re likely to be right.

  • GP says:

    There are oral medicines for Type II diabetes but insulin can only be injected.

  • GWB says:

    the rule President Trump imposed that would’ve capped insulin and epipen prices.
    And… does no one see the two main problems with Trump’s action?
    Namely that he doesn’t have Article II authority to do that, and that he shouldn’t have the authority to muck with the market even if he did have authority?

    One of President Trump’s key initiatives on the healthcare front was to work to lower prescription drug prices across the board.
    And, why the h*** should he have the power to do that?

    This is not a pro-Biden stance, but a pro-Constitution one. THIS is exactly why the Founders limited our federal gov’ts powers. The national gov’t should have no say in the pricing of anything. PERIOD.

    Now, there are a couple of bits where the gov’t should interfere in the market. Fraud is an obvious one. Another should be the patent system. Which went off the rails a bunch of years ago to line the pockets of big publishers and folks like big tech and big pharma. If you let patents/copyrights work as they should, there’s soon a market mechanism to bring prices down (witness laser eye surgery). (Mind you, I’m pro-business, and think they should charge whatever the market will bear, and let the invisible hand do its work.)

    The other problem is this idea that somehow ‘health care’ is a right. That somehow not having all the identical ‘health care’ as a rich person is equivalent to being lynched. The people who create these drugs have to recoup their costs (and then some). Drugs are things that require the intellectual and physical labor of multiple someones to design, create, package and distribute. Medical service requires the time and effort of multiple someones to look at the patient, diagnose them, and treat them. Both require infrastructure that has to be paid for (and someone else’s time and effort). These are NOT ‘rights’.

    A 66% savings would be so incredibly beneficial.
    Well, Nina, a 66% decrease in my food and housing budget would be a big help, too! So, let’s just sign an executive order about that one, too.

    unless you are able to find the generic
    Wait a minute! There’s a market alternative to the over-priced version? And it nets you TWO of the item in discussion? Why aren’t people buying that one then?

    having costs of that go up on a continual basis
    Welcome to inflation. You want to stop that? How about stopping Congress from devaluing our currency by ‘borrowing’ unimaginably huge amounts of it? How about stopping idiotic minimum wage laws which merely drive up the price of everything? The cost of everything goes up all the time. The real issue is the fixed income (primarily gov’t sources) of the people who require the drug.

    President Trump sought to alleviate that burden
    Which is NOT his job.

    price-gouging
    Can you define that term in non-subjective terms?

    direct discounts passed on to patients on important drugs from community health centers
    While I’m all about fairness in pricing (transparency, etc.) what are these “community health centers” and why do they exist? And just how many people get their pharmaceuticals from them? If they’re basically welfare agencies, then yeah I’m pissed if they’re not passing on the actual price of the drugs to their patients. But that doesn’t bring down the price of the drugs across the market. Discounts merely shift who’s paying that price. (BTW, all those lower prices in other countries? YOU are paying for their anti-market discount schemes, because someone is going to have to pay.)

    the detriment of American health
    Sorry, no. Not putting up with that collectivist crap.

    a strong start at fixing a broken and politicized system
    You don’t fix a broken system by imposing more of the system.

    Now, is Biden basically giving Big Pharma a bag of goodies? Yes. But Trump was playing the same game – just the other side.
    If you want to take away the power of Big Anything you have to take away the power of their enablers: the government. Take away the power of the technocratic class to regulate things and the big guys have significantly less power to do all the awful things you hate.

    You can’t fix a market issue by forcing pricing. Especially one that is caused by over-regulation.

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