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Access to Insulin

An Initiative to Improve Care for People with Diabetes

DLC advocates for affordable insulin


Insulin is an important—and sometimes lifesaving—part of treatment for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. About 1 in 3 adults with diabetes must take insulin every day.1 As insulin costs rise, millions of Americans with diabetes struggle to pay for it.

People with diabetes face high out-of-pocket costs


Changes in pharmacy benefit design in commercial insurance plans—insurance plans through employers—have raised the out-of-pocket cost for people who need insulin. This means that they must pay the full price of insulin during the deductible phase of their coverage—the period of time before the insurance plan begins to pay.

People who find it hard to afford their medicine may take less than the recommended dose or skip it entirely. Not taking insulin as prescribed can lead to devastating complications, including:

  • Stroke
  • Blindness
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Lower-limb amputation (removal of part of a limb, such as the foot)1

Partnerships help employees

DLC advocates to reduce insulin costs for employees and their dependents who need it. DLC educates employers and health benefit consultants on:

  • The importance of pharmacy benefit (prescription insurance) plan design
  • The impact of pharmacy benefit plan design on employee health
  • Cost savings an appropriately designed plan can have for employees and employers

Learn more about the DLC Access to Insulin Employer Initiative.

Click here for more info

Reduce Insulin Out-of-Pocket Costs

Access to insulin is too important to rely on shopping savvy or savings programs. It is an essential, life-sustaining component of diabetes care. Help is available if you or someone you love struggles with insulin costs. There’s no one-size-fits all shortcut, but these steps may help reduce your out-of-pocket cost for insulin and other diabetes medicine and supplies.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017. Accessed September 12, 2018.

Reduce Insulin Costs

Tips to pay less at the pharmacy