WISCONSIN – A new study from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and the University of Southern California Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics finds that Medicare recipients have filled more insulin prescriptions since the Inflation Reduction Act went into effect in January 2023 and capped out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 a month.
According to the study, the number of insulin prescriptions filled by Medicare Part D enrollees rose from 519,588 to 523,564 per month. Rebecca Myerson, MPH, PhD, who serves as an assistant professor of population health sciences at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, and is the lead author of the study says the research confirms that the Inflation Reduction Act is helping seniors stay healthy.
“‘Our analysis suggests that this policy meaningfully reduced the number of Medicare beneficiaries who were not filling their insulin because of the cost – which would have potentially put their health at risk.”
In a statement, the UW School of Medicine and Public Health credited the Inflation Reduction Act’s cap on insulin costs with ensuring that thousands of patients across the country were able to fill their insulin prescriptions.
“‘After adjusting for differences in the study sample, the analysis suggests that Medicare beneficiaries filled about 50,000 more insulin prescriptions per month that were below $35, and about 20,000 of these fills would not have taken place if not for the policy.”
Study co-author Dima Mazin Qato also says the Medicare insulin cap may help close gaps in health equity by expanding access to insulin across communities in need.
“Ensuring access to affordable insulin is critical for promoting healthy equity given that Black and Latinx individuals, including among Medicare populations, are more likely to suffer from diabetes and experience barriers in accessing diabetes medications, including insulins.”