Eli Lilly will reduce the price of certain insulins in the United States by 70%
Manufactured by the pancreas, insulin is a substance used by the human body to convert food into energy. However, people with diabetes do not produce enough insulin and have to inject it.
The price of insulin has more than tripled in the United States over the past two decades. (File photo)
U.S. pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announces price cuts for certain insulins over the coming year and immediate imposition of a fee cap imposed on insured patients for the fulfillment of prescriptions.
The drugmaker announced on Wednesday that it will cut the list price of Humalog insulin – the most commonly prescribed in the United States – and Humulin-brand insulin by 70% starting next September.
Lilly also announced that it will reduce the price of its licensed generic version of its Humalog insulin to $25 a bottle starting in May. The company will also launch a biosimilar insulin in April to compete with Sanofi's Lantus insulin.
American pharmaceutical Eli Lilly is one of the leading insulin manufacturers in the United States.
This is good news for a large number of Americans who suffer from diabetes and who have faced soaring drug prices and the costs that accompany them for years.
Insulin prices have more than tripled in 20 years in the United States.
Inflation-ridden today, more and more Americans simply can't afford the more than $1,000 a year to purchase electricity. insulin they need to live.
Prices are so high that many Americans have crossed the border in recent years to buy their insulin in Canada, where the drug sells for up to 10 times less than at home.
Explaining that it will take time for insurers and the pharmaceutical system to implement these price cuts, Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks also announced that the company will cap monthly insulin costs at $35. for people with diabetes who are not covered by the Medicare prescription drug program.
This cap will apply to persons with commercial insurance coverage. People without insurance can find savings cards to receive insulin at the same price on the InsulinAffordability.com website.
The federal government United States, for its part, in January imposed a similar price cap on people 65 and older covered by the Medicare program.
The changes announced by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly come as US lawmakers and patient advocacy groups are stepping up pressure on drugmakers to try to rein in rising prices.
Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders even accompanied a group of American diabetics on their trip to Canada in 2019 to obtain insulin to draw public attention to this problem.
Bernie Sanders holds a vial of insulin during a press conference outside a pharmacy in Windsor, Ontario, in 2019. (File photo)
D'Eli Lilly's planned cuts could bring substantial relief, says Stacie Dusetzina, a health policy professor at Vanderbilt University who studies drug costs .
These significant reductions in the list price of these two insulins should not harm the finances of the pharmaceutical company too much, insofar as these insulins are older and must already deal with competition from other manufacturers, believes Ms. Dusetzina.
Manufactured by the pancreas, insulin is a substance used by the human body to convert food into energy. However, people with diabetes do not produce enough insulin and must inject it. People with type 1 diabetes need insulin every day to survive.
More than 8 million Americans currently need insulin, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Type 2 diabetes, which mostly strikes adults and obese people, has been detected in more than 17 million Americans, according to the Center for Disease Control. The treatment of patients with diabetes has become one of the main challenges of the health system in the United States.
In the United States, diabetes is one of the most common diseases today. (File photo)
So much so that the state of California is exploring the possibility of making insulin itself at a lower price. Non-profit organizations, like Civica, also plan to start producing three insulins at no more than $30 a bottle.
Drugmakers will see that the high prices can't persist forever, warns Larry Levitt, executive vice president of the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.
Lilly is trying to get ahead of the problem and pass in the public eye for the good guy, points out Larry Levitt.
Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. was the first company to market insulin in the United States in 1923, two years after scientists at the University of Toronto discovered it.
The insulins Humulin and Humalog and its licensed generic brought Eli Lilly more than $3 billion in total revenue last year and more than $3.5 billion in 2021.
With information from Associated Press