In March 2023, major insulin manufacturers Eli Lilly (Lilly), Novo Nordisk and Sanofi announced price reductions of 70%, 75% and 78% respectively, for their most commonly prescribed insulins in the US, starting from first quarter of 2023 for Lilly and from 1 January 2024 for Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. The three companies control over 90% of the global insulin market.
In addition, Lilly will be expanding its Insulin Value Program that caps patient out-of-pocket costs at US$35 or less per month, announced on 1 March 2023.
Lilly is taking three key actions to make it more affordable for patients to access Lilly insulin products starting in early 2023:
- In the first quarter of 2023, Lilly is cutting the list price of Humalog (insulin lispro injection) 100 units/mL1, their most frequently prescribed insulin, and Humulin® (insulin human) injection 100 units/mL2 by 70%.
- From 1 April 2023, Lilly is launching Rezvoglar (insulin glargine-aglr) injection , a basal insulin interchangeable biosimilar of the Lantus (insulin glargine) injection, for US$92 per five pack of KwikPens (78% discount relative to Lantus).
- From 1 May 2023, Lilly is cutting the list price of its non-branded insulin, Insulin Lispro Injection 100 units/mL, to US$25 a vial. This makes it the lowest list-priced mealtime insulin available.
Furthermore, Lilly launched two plans for easier access to their products for people with diabetes with or without insurance:
- For people with insurance – Lilly is automatically capping the out-of-pocket costs at US$35 at participating retail pharmacies.
- For people without insurance – they can access InsulinAffordability.com and download the Lilly Insulin Value Program savings card to receive Lilly insulins for US$35 per month.
Lilly hopes that these aggressive price cuts and their affordability programme will improve access to affordable insulins for all Americans. These cuts follow previous low pricing options adopted by Lilly .
Danish multinational pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk and French drugmaker Sanofi on 14 and 16 March 2023 announced that starting from 1 January 2024 they would slash the price of their insulin drugs by 75% and 78% respectively.
Novo Nordisk is to reduce NovoLog insulin list price by 75%, Levemir and Novolin by 65% for vials and injection pens. NovoLog's list price for five pens to drop to $139.71 from US$558.83, and for a vial, to US$72.34 from US$289.36. Unbranded insulin prices to match respective branded insulin's lowered price.
Sanofi plans to reduce Lantus' price by 78%, limit monthly out-of-pocket expenses to US$35 for privately insured individuals, and decrease Apidra's list price by 70%. The company already offers a US$35 monthly cap on insulin for uninsured diabetes patients.
In late March 2022, the Affordable Insulin Now Act was passed to cap monthly insulin costs at US$35 to benefit both Medicare patients and those on minimalistic insurance plans .
These massive price cutting moves of major insulin pharmaceutical companies come after the Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Joe Biden on 16 August 2022 which capped monthly insulin costs for Medicare beneficiaries at US$35, but it did not provide protection to diabetes patients who are covered by private insurance.
About 37 million people in the US (11.3% of the population) have diabetes, and 8.4 million of them depend on insulin, as per the CDC and the American Diabetes Association.
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Se ha lanzado la nueva sección del ‘Foro Latinoamericano’ sobre GaBI. El objetivo de esta nueva sección es brindarle las últimas noticias y actualizaciones sobre desarrollos de medicamentos genéricos y biosimilares en América Latina en español.
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1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. New insulin glargine and potential adalimumab interchangeable biosimilars[www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2023 Mar 23]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/biosimilars/news/new-insulin-glargine-and-potential-adalimumab-interchangeable-biosimilars
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk launches lower-priced insulin options[www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2023 Mar 23]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/biosimilars/general/Eli-Lilly-and-Novo-Nordisk-launches-lower-priced-insulin-options
3. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. United States legislation to improve access to insulin [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2023 Mar 23]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/policies-legislation/united-states-legislation-to-improve-access-to-insulin
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