Skip to main content
Home » Diabetes » The Importance of Insulin Accessibility and Affordability
Black Health

The Importance of Insulin Accessibility and Affordability

More than 1.6 million Americans live with Type 1 diabetes (T1D), and this number continues to grow. They need insulin several times a day, every day, just to survive.


Aaron Turner-Phifer

Director, Health Policy, JDRF

Despite the life-saving nature of this drug and studies showing the health impact of affordable insulin, the cost has nearly tripled over the last decade. It’s no coincidence that the rise in price coincides with more people rationing their insulin — a potentially life-threatening practice. No one should suffer or die because they cannot afford insulin.


JDRF, as a leader in the fight to end T1D, has spent years advocating to policymakers, insulin manufacturers, health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and employers, demanding action to lower insulin costs for everyone, regardless of insurance status.

Insulin access

Insulin should be available to people with diabetes at a low, predictable out-of-pocket cost. Immediate steps can ensure greater access for those with insurance through the adoption of caps on monthly out-of-pocket costs for insulin and passing savings from rebates directly to the consumer at the pharmacy counter. Insulin manufacturers should also take immediate steps to lower their prices and expand patient assistance programs for those who are uninsured or need assistance with costs. Finally, continued federal funding for community health centers will help make low-cost insulin and other healthcare available across the country.

According to the FDA, an interchangeable product is a biological product that is approved based on data demonstrating that it is highly similar to an FDA-approved reference product and that there are no clinically meaningful differences between the products.

Insulin choice

T1D is a unique disease that affects everyone differently. The same is true for how insulins work. Health plans and PBMs should allow people access to the insulin that works best for them.

Next-generation therapies

We need better therapies that will make managing T1D less burdensome. JDRF is a significant funder of research to advance new, innovative therapies, including insulins. We call for health policies that encourage the research and development of new innovations and make them available to everyone.


For more information about JDRF’s efforts to improve access to insulin, please read our Achieving Insulin Access and Innovation principles.

Next article