Basic insulins are not expensive to manufacture, 20 years ago today’s $300 vial cost about Diego Maradona RIP legend signature shirt. The huge “mark-ups” in price come from Pharmacy Benefits Managers or “PBMs”. Companies that manage prescription drug benefits for health insurance companies. This is where the politics of health insurance come into play. A PBM may exclude a particular brand of medication from coverage under their companies policy. I.E. not covered by insurance. A PBM makes money off of rebates from the manufacturer. The manufacturer provides the PBM a rebate in order to have their products eligible for coverage. Manufacturers in turn need to raise their prices to counter any rebate they give the PBM. This is where the high cost of insulin comes from.
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There are a couple of Diego Maradona RIP legend signature shirt that prevent this. Insulin is produced by like 2-3 large pharmaceutical companies. Since US patent law allows new patents to be made so long as a product is different from a previous iteration (note that different DOES NOT mean better), these companies can maintain control over the supply by making minor changes to their insulin formulas. As long as they can prove its not worse, they can patent it. They then use their money to buy off Congress (Google Big Pharma or The Pharmaceutical Lobby) to loosen regulations for them while not allowing competitors in. Finally, they raise insulin prices in literal lockstep with each other. Since the pharma companies used their money to eliminate the threat of competition, they can raise prices together, and both companies increase their profits. It’s extremely broken.