We stopped by the pharmacy today to pick up a new Glucagon shot for my wife. Her old one was about 3 years past the expiration date and her doctor said they really do start to lose effectiveness after 3 years.
The retail price is $443.00
Glucagon is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that raises blood sugar, it is literally the opposite of insulin. The kits are used when somebody with diabetes is in a severe low blood sugar episode and maybe in a seizure. I've never had to use it in 26 years of being married to a diabetic. It's an insurance policy that avoids a call to 911. In other words, it saves money, and it can save a life.
My wife has kept one of these things in the fridge since we were dating in college in the 80s. I think they cost about $25 back then. I know they were super cheap because she kept an extra at my place.
My point here is this is not a new high tech drug. This is old tech that had its R&D costs amortized 25+ years ago. There is simply no reason for the cost of a Glucagon shot to have increased like this in recent years. This is the recent Epi Pen situation all over again. It's simple price gouging by the US Pharmaceutical industry. It's a transfer of wealth from diabetics and their families to Eli Lilly executives and stock holders.
Fuck you Eli Lilly.
*The chart comes from this law firm promoting a class action case related to Glucagon prices.