For most people with Type 2 diabetes, treatment begins by making lifestyle changes like diet and exercise and taking medications, such as Metformin, that lower the amount of extra sugar in the blood. But 14 to 25 percent of people with Type 2 diabetes need insulin injections to control their blood sugars.

For decades, these people were prescribed a synthetic form of human insulin, but in the 2000s, newer insulin analogs began to become more widespread. These modified versions of insulin are longer-acting and are supposed to limit the risk of low blood sugars at night. Unfortunately, they are also very expensive, sometimes costing up to 10 times more than the standard human insulin. This caused the overall costs of insulin to triple nationally between 2002 and 2013.