Endocrine and Psychiatry Center logo

Groundbreaking Insulin Price Reductions: A Hopeful Step Forward in Diabetes Management

Aug 09, 2023
misc image
Groundbreaking Insulin Price Reductions: A Hopeful Step Forward in Diabetes Management

Groundbreaking Insulin Price Reductions: A Hopeful Step Forward in Diabetes Management

Eli Lilly and Company announced on March 1 that it is significantly reducing the prices of its most commonly prescribed insulin by 70%, kickstarting a commendable trend followed soon by Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. This reduction aligns with the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act that caps insulin prices at $35 a month for Medicare seniors. The commendable move, applauded by both the Endocrine Society and the Biden Administration, aims to ease the financial burden on patients with diabetes who need insulin.

These reductions form part of years-long efforts to bridge gaps in the healthcare system, ensuring everyone with diabetes can access insulin. Lilly aims to deliver affordable insulin at the pharmacy counter, working with diverse stakeholders to find ways of lowering out-of-pocket costs without disrupting patient access.

Key changes include:

  • From May 1, 2023, Lilly will reduce the list price of its non-branded insulin, Insulin Lispro Injection 100 units/mL, to $25 a vial, making it the lowest list-priced mealtime insulin available.
  • In Q4 2023, Lilly will cut the list price of Humalog® (insulin lispro injection) and Humulin® (insulin human) injection 100 units/mL by 70%.
  • From April 1, 2023, Lilly will launch RezvoglarTM (insulin glargine-aglr) injection, biosimilar and interchangeable with Lantus® (insulin glargine) injection, for $92 per five pack of KwikPens, a 78% discount to Lantus.

Moreover, Lilly is simplifying access to affordable insulin for more people with diabetes by:

  • Automatically capping out-of-pocket costs at $35 at participating retail pharmacies for people with commercial insurance using Lilly insulin.
  • Providing uninsured individuals access to Lilly insulins for $35 per month via the Lilly Insulin Value Program savings card downloadable from InsulinAffordability.com.

While this is a significant step in the right direction, there is more work to be done. As Lilly's Chair and CEO, David A. Ricks, emphasized during the press conference, all stakeholders must come together to make insulin not only affordable but accessible. Also, it’s important that everyone who needs insulin can benefit from reduced costs, regardless of their insurance and the type of insulin they use.

As predicted by industry insiders, other insulin manufacturers followed Lilly's lead. On March 14, Novo Nordisk announced it is lowering the U.S. list prices of several insulin products by up to 75% for people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Similarly, on March 16, Sanofi announced that it would cut the list price of Lantus (insulin glargine injection) by 78%, with a $35 cap on out-of-pocket costs for all patients with commercial insurance.

This development marks a significant milestone in making insulin more affordable and accessible, a lifesaving necessity that should be available to all who need it. However, it is just a step in the journey towards comprehensive, affordable healthcare for all.