Amid Azar’s Drug Pricing Failures, One in Four Diabetics Asked for a Cheaper Alternative

WASHINGTON — In the absence of meaningful action on drug pricing from HHS Secretary Azar and the Trump administration, a new study from the CDC is proving just how harmful the skyrocketing price of insulin is for Americans.

The CDC study reveals: 

  • More than one in ten American adults were diagnosed with diabetes as of 2018 
  • Of those, 13.2% didn’t take their medications as prescribed in order to reduce their prescription drug costs
  • 24.4% of American diabetics asked their doctor to prescribe them a cheaper drug than insulin 
  • Adults younger than 65 and ineligible for Medicare were more likely to not take their diabetes medicine as prescribed than adults older than 65

“Patients have been waiting for Azar and the Trump administration to make good on their promise to lower drug prices and this study proves they are failing,” said Lizzy Price, Director of Restore Public Trust. “Americans with diabetes are purposefully rationing their drugs because they can’t afford them. Some have even died as a result. With so many lives on the line, it’s appalling that the Trump administration has failed to lower drug prices, but when the HHS Secretary was on the side of Big Pharma for a decade, it’s not surprising.”

Attorneys General in several states are reportedly investigating insulin drug pricing by Eli Lilly, including charges of price-fixing that would have occurred during Azar’s tenure. Eli Lilly is also named as a defendant in a class-action lawsuit alleging price-fixing during Azar’s tenure at the company.

In June, Restore Public Trust launched the website,, exposing sixteen Trump administration officials who have made almost $6 million from the pharmaceutical industry while everyday Americans struggle to find the money for lifesaving drugs they need. Among them are HHS Secretary Alex Azar who was a top executive at Eli Lilly when the company increased the price of Humalog, a top-selling insulin drug, by 345%.

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