Cost of Insulin by Country 2022

An insulin-producing pancreas is necessary for cells in the body to take up sugar (glucose) from the blood and use it as fuel.

According to the World Health Organization, around 10% of the world’s population suffers from diabetes, a long-term ailment resulting from the body’s inability to generate and use insulin properly. 

When the pancreas fails to create enough insulin, it’s known as Type 1 diabetes; when the pancreas produces enough insulin, but the cells are unable to use it, it’s known as type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a life-threatening disease.

According to the International Diabetes Foundation, diabetes will kill 6.7 million people worldwide in 2021. Without appropriate insulin, the body cannot control its blood sugar level, which may lead to several medical issues.

A surgical insulin pump, a syringe, or pen-based insulin may be used to provide the medication to patients with type 1 diabetes. Unfortunately, insulin costs have risen precipitously in the United States over the last two decades and are expected to continue.

For example, according to the American Journal of Managed Care, a one-month supply of insulin Humalog cost $21 in 1996, but $275 in 2019 – a 1200 percent increase — yet true inflation was just 63.67% over the same time.

Patients may need as many as six vials of injectable insulin every month, with average prices ranging from $25 to $300. On top of that, diabetics need to acquire glucose monitors and a plethora of testing equipment and supplies.

Utilizing inhalers and insulin pens may be more convenient, although they tend to cost more. Even if a patient has insurance, the cost of insulin and other essential supplies might be prohibitive.

According to the RAND Corporation, these are the 10 countries where insulin is the most expensive:

  1. United States — $98.70
  2. Chile — $21.48
  3. Mexico — $16.48
  4. Japan — $14.40
  5. Switzerland — $12.46
  6. Canada — $12.00
  7. Germany — $11.00
  8. Korea — $10.30
  9. Luxembourg — $10.15
  10. Italy — $10.03

American insulin prices as compared to those of other nations.

As part of a groundbreaking study published in 2020 by The RAND Corporation, researchers looked at the average price of various types of insulin (including human, analog, rapid and rapid-intermediate forms) in 33 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which includes nearly all of the world’s developed and high-income countries. 

According to the report, insulin manufacturer prices in the United States averaged five to 10 times higher than in all other OECD nations.

U.S. pricing would still be nearly four times higher than in other nations even if net prices, which take prospective refunds into account, were used. Data about every nation and kind of insulin may be found in the table at the bottom of this page.

Insulin prices around the world

In contrast to the staggeringly expensive insulin pricing in the United States, prices in low- and middle-income nations and developing countries (such as in the case of Humalog, Switzerland) are often comparable.

Additional stress is placed on people with diabetes due to the unreliability of insulin and related supplies, such as test strips and other supplies. 

T1 International, a non-profit organization, surveys persons with type 1 diabetes biannually all over the globe about their out-of-pocket expenses. The following table lists the five most costly nations for each kind of insulin studied. All prices are per vial of insulin in U.S. dollars.

Apidra (Rapid-Acting Insulin)

  • South Africa: $74
  • United States: $61
  • Grenada: $50
  • Morocco: $48
  • Philippines: $39

Humalog (Rapid-Acting Insulin)

  • Brazil: $89
  • Switzerland & Panama: $80
  • United States: $55
  • Dominican Republic: $50
  • Costa Rica: $48

Novorapid/Novolog (Rapid-Acting Insulin)

  • Kenya: $33
  • Thailand: $67
  • Uruguay: $50
  • United States: $46
  • Bolivia: $29

Humulin (Short-Acting Insulin)

  • Philippines: $39
  • South Africa: $38
  • United States: $33
  • India: $16
  • Ecuador: $9

Novolin (Short-Acting Insulin)

  • United States: $80
  • Burundi: $25
  • Pakistan: $21
  • Spain: $17
  • Ghana: $10

Also See: Coronavirus by Country 2022

Lantus (Long-Acting Insulin)

  • Kenya: $258
  • Panama: $80
  • Uruguay & Grenada: $50
  • Peru: $49
  • United States: $41

Levemir (Long-Acting Insulin)

  • United States: $53
  • Morocco: $28
  • South Africa: $16
  • Uruguay: $13
  • Indonesia: $7

countryAverage cost (all types - US$ 2018)HumanAnalogRapidRapid IntermediateShortShort Intermed.IntermediateLong
United States98.700085.210099.9400119.3600107.310087.200095.050073.560088.1000
United Kingdom7.52005.13008.09007.220076.24005.05005.14009.7900
Czech Republic8.18004.69009.11007.48006.94004.69004.70004.720011.6800
New Zealand8.89005.08009.86007.52006.670086.01004.240013.1800

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