In 2012, a person using insulinpaid $7.80 for an average amount of insulin per day. In 2016, thathad risen to $15.

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The price of insulin has doubled per person overthe last 5 years, even though the number of users certainly hasn't.

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In fact, the average daily insulin use during the sameperiod rose just 3 percent, according to a study from the Health Care Cost Institute. The study authorssaid that the per-person spending increase is due to price jumps, not more users.

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In 2012, a person using insulin paid $7.80 for an average amountof insulin per day. In 2016, that had risen to $15 per day. Peoplewith high-deductible health plans and those withoutinsurance have been hit the hardest by the increase.

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Related: Walgreens to pay $269 million over insulin fraudallegations

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Washington, D.C.-based HCCI tracks insurance claims data onabout 80 million people and uses information from Medicare and fourof the largest health insurers: UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, nowowned by CVS Health Corp, Humana Inc. and Kaiser Permanente.

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“It's not that individuals are using more insulin or that newproducts are particularly innovative or provide immense benefits,”Jeannie Fuglesten Biniek, a senior researcher at HCCI and thereport's coauthor, told Reuters in a phone interview. “Use ispretty flat, and the price changes are occurring in both older andnewer products. That surprised me. The exact same products arecosting double.”

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Not only are Democratic lawmakers offering legislation that would decreaseprescription drug prices for consumers, they have also sent lettersto a dozen drugmakers wanting information on price increases. Thebig three insulin makers, Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co,Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk A/S and France's Sanofi SA, are amongthe firms contacted.

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Just this year, the report says, Sanofi boosted some insulinproduct prices between 4.4 and 5.2 percent, and NovoNordisk increased some insulin prices by 4.9 percent. As of Jan.17, it adds, Lilly had not raised prices on its insulins.

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In October, the attorney general of Minnesota sued the big threeand accused them of deceptively raising prices, and there's asimilar proposed class action suit on behalf of patients is pendingin New Jersey's federal court.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.