Drug Maker Caps Insulin Price at $35 in U.S.

In a March 1 announcement, the Eli Lilly company says it will slash prices on most insulins by 70% and expand its Insulin Value Program that caps out-of-pocket costs at $35.

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly took action against unaffordable insulin prices by reducing costs on several of the company’s insulin products. A press release states Lilly will lower the list price on its non-branded Insulin Lispro Injection to $25 a vial — effective May 1, 2023. In addition, the cost of Humalog and Humulin will drop by 70% — effective in the last quarter of 2023.

However, Lilly will immediately automatically cap out-of-pocket costs at $35 at participating pharmacies for individuals with commercial insurance using Lilly insulin. The company says individuals who don't have insurance can go to InsulinAffordability.com to download the Lilly Insulin Value Program savings card to receive the company’s insulins for $35 per month.

This announcement follows President Biden’s call for lower insulin prices in his early February State of the Union speech. Although the President says a $35 cap is in place for older adults on Medicare, it leaves millions without Medicare still paying high prices for insulin.

"While the current healthcare system provides access to insulin for most people with diabetes, it still does not provide affordable insulin for everyone and that needs to change," David A. Ricks, Lilly's Chair and CEO, says in the press release.

"The aggressive price cuts we're announcing today should make a real difference for Americans with diabetes. Because these price cuts will take time for the insurance and pharmacy system to implement, we are taking the additional step to immediately cap out-of-pocket costs for patients who use Lilly insulin and are not covered by the recent Medicare Part D cap," he adds.

Ricks also says seven out of 10 Americans do not use their insulins. Therefore, he's calling on policymakers, employers, and others to help make insulin more affordable and reprice older insulin products.

According to NBC News, the move to drop insulin prices and cap insulin costs resulted from discussions between members of Congress and Eli Lilly.

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