Katie Mahoney Katie Mahoney
Former Vice President, Health Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Brad Watts Brad Watts
Vice President, Patents and Innovation Policy, Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC), U.S. Chamber of Commerce


May 03, 2023


Every day, millions of Americans depend on modern insulin, a medical breakthrough resulting from over a century of tireless research by our most innovative companies.  

In 2023, those who need this essential medicine have access to greater treatment flexibility, more accurate dosing tools, and fewer side effects than the original insulin extracted from animals a century ago, with over 20 products now available. 

However, this historic progress is now at risk due to misguided proposals in Congress to impose new artificial "price caps" that may only result in undermining insulin innovation while leading to higher insurance premiums. 

False claims: Defenders of these proposals falsely claim that today's insulin is no different than the hormone isolated in 1921. Their argument misses the fact of the vast innovations which have transformed insulin medication—and how its delivered—resulting in the life-changing improvement in the health and well-being of millions of Americans. 

The insulin revolution: Just as today's automobile bears little resemblance to those from 100 years ago, so too does modern insulin. A century ago, patients were treated with insulins from pigs and cattle. Today, patients have access to insulins that operate at the molecular level, which more closely resemble insulin released naturally in the body. Today's modern insulin has resulted in:  

  • Longer life expectancy and personalized therapies 
  • Longer-acting insulin offer coverage can for over 24 hours, offering more dosing flexibility 
  • Improved delivery methods, such as insulin pens, offer greater convenience—reducing injections and making it easier for children to use 
  • Over $8 billion in savings to taxpayers due to 1 million fewer emergency room visits per year thanks to improved diabetes management 

Invest in the future: There is still more to do. Continued progress in insulin development is essential for ensuring that Americans with diabetes and other chronic conditions can live long, healthy, and productive lives. However, this innovation, like the innovation before it, comes at a cost—significant investment in research, development, and clinical trials—necessary to bring new and improved insulin treatments to the marketplace.  

Bottom line: When the government caps innovation, it endangers access to better treatments—harming patients the most. The repercussions of Congress's artificial price caps jeopardize the medical breakthroughs for individuals with diabetes and other chronic illnesses.  

How can I help: Support the health and well-being of millions of Americans—demand Congress reject proposals that threaten insulin innovation.

Take action to protect American patients

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have started the process of imposing government price controls on critical medical treatments. This will have devastating consequences for patients who are counting on new life-saving drugs.

Unless we act, this is going to happen to us.

Join us in urginging Congress to protect American patients and stop this price control regime!

About the authors

Katie Mahoney

Katie Mahoney

Katie W. Mahoney is the former vice president of health policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Brad Watts

Brad Watts

Brad Watts is the Vice President for Patents and Innovation Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC). He works with U.S. Chamber members to foster a political, legal, and economic environment where innovators and creators can invest in the next big thing for the benefit of Americans and the world.

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