Arkansas Hit With Insulin Price Gouging: No Help From Republican Congressmen

The price of insulin is skyrocketing, and Arkansas’s Republican Congressmen are content to let it keep rising. A new report shows insulin costs spiking by 54 percent, with the average cost of prescription up to $617. Increasingly, Arkansans with diabetes are being forced to make life and death decisions about their medication and their pocket book.

“The average cost of an insulin prescription in Arkansas rose by more than 50% between 2013 and 2018, according to a new analysis by the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement.

ACHI used insurance claims information within the Arkansas Healthcare Transparency Initiative to determine the annual average cost per insulin prescription in Arkansas. The average cost rose from $401 in 2013 to $617 in 2018, an increase of 54%.

“Many Arkansans are struggling to afford the medicines they need,” said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson. “There is evidence that some Arkansans have been taking less than their prescribed doses of insulin because of rising costs. This is troubling because for many with diabetes, access to insulin is a matter of life and death.”

This is all despite the Canadian scientist credited with harnessing insulin’s medical use, Sir Dr. Frederick Banting, declaring in 1920 that “Insulin does not belong to me, it belongs to the world.” Insulin may be affordable in Canada, but Republican lawmakers in America are hard at work protecting profit margins for drug makers and trying to deny American households a future where insulin is affordable.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

The Democratic-led U.S. House has already passed powerful legislation to curb the abusive, excessive, and deadly price gouging of the pharmaceutical industry. That measure passed in the U.S. House despite each one of Arkansas’s Republican Congressmen voting NO on lowering prescription drug costs. The House-passed bill now sits in the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate.

Diabetes is a serious problem, especially in Arkansas. Our elected leaders ought to be doing everything in their power to fight for Arkansans who are facing spiraling drug costs, and literal life and death decisions.

It makes you wonder why U.S. Reps. French Hill (Second District), Steve Womack (Third District), and Bruce Westerman (Fourth District) are telling voters they care about their healthcare. If they do, why aren’t they voting to lower prescription drug costs?


Celeste Williams (Third District), William Hanson (Fourth District), and Joyce Elliott (Second District) are running to put Arkansans first — not the profit margins of drug makers.

Arkansas needs Representatives who will vote to make healthcare more affordable and accessible — not who vote to take it away and let costs spiral out of control.