Medicare could save billions negotiating insulin cost, study says

A new study states Medicare could save billions by negotiating the price of one drug - insulin. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - A new study shows Medicare could save billions of dollars with one change: negotiating the price of insulin.

The study came out Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

It shows that using price formulary and negotiations could have shaved about $4.4 billion from Medicare's estimated $7.8 billion spending on insulin.

Researchers point out the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs negotiates the cost of insulin now.

It suggests Congress allow Medicare to do the same.

"Even if the $4.4 billion figure overestimates the potential savings, the potential for lower prices would substantially increase many patients’ access to life-saving insulin products," said the study's summary.

In January, Illinois' governor signed a bill to cap someone's insulin costs at $100 per month. In Virginia, the House passed a bill Monday by 98-1 vote to limit insulin copays to $30 for a 30-day supply.

Copyright 2020 CNN. Gray Media Group, Inc. contributed to the report. All rights reserved.