WEDNESDAY, March 1, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- More Americans will soon be paying less for their insulin. Eli Lilly, one of the three insulin manufacturers, plans to cut its list prices of the drug by 70 percent and cap out-of-pocket costs at $35 a month.
"While the current health care system provides access to insulin for most people with diabetes, it still does not provide affordable insulin for everyone, and that needs to change," Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks said in a company statement. "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 [on insulin costs]."
The company will cut its list price for Humalog 100 units/mL starting in the fourth quarter of 2023. It will also cut its list price on nonbranded Insulin Lispro Injection 100 units/mL, to $25 a vial. That cut will begin May 1, CBS News reported.
People with insurance will have a cap of $35 on out-of-pocket costs when buying the medication at participating retail pharmacies, the company said. Those without insurance can also pay just $35 a month by downloading the company's Insulin Value Program savings card. That brings the costs in line with enrollees in Medicare, who had prices capped by the Inflation Reduction Act last year.
Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi are the three drug makers that control the insulin market in the United States. About three in 10 people with diabetes use Eli Lilly insulin. These drug makers have been criticized for their high prices, up significantly since they began selling analog insulin products more than 20 years ago, CBS News reported. Some patients with diabetes ration their medication, at great health risk, because of the high price of the medicine.