Discontinuing older versions of insulin is bad for drug pricing

Physicians Frederick Banting and John MacLeod declined to be listed on the patent for insulin in 1923, leading to its sale for $1. Despite efforts to make insulin affordable, prices have skyrocketed. Drug discontinuation by pharmaceutical companies has limited competition, keeping prices high. This is not the case in other industries where competition drives prices down. Consumer choices for insulin have also been limited due to discontinuations. Policy changes could ensure continued availability of older, affordable insulin products after patent expiration. Access to both cutting-edge and trailing-edge insulin products is essential for consumer choice and affordability. Implementing such policies can help address the high cost of insulin.

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