Eli Lilly Announces 70% Price Reduction and Cap on Out-of-Pocket Costs for Insulin

In a significant move to make insulin more accessible and affordable, Eli Lilly and Company has announced a 70% price reduction for its most commonly prescribed insulins.[0] The pharmaceutical company will also expand its Insulin Value Program, capping out-of-pocket costs at $35 or less per month.[1] This decision comes as a response to the growing issue of insulin pricing and the challenges faced by Americans in navigating the complex healthcare system.

Insulin is a crucial lifeline for people with diabetes, but its high cost has been a major barrier for many individuals. Over the past 20 years, leading insulin manufacturers have increased their prices by more than 600%. This has led to people rationing their insulin or going without it, which can have severe health consequences.[2] According to a survey conducted in 2018, one in four people with type 1 diabetes who rely on insulin reported rationing it due to affordability concerns.[3]

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, President Joe Biden called for a cap on insulin prices at $35 per month for all Americans in his State of the Union Address.[4] Eli Lilly's price reduction and cap on out-of-pocket costs align with this call to action. President Biden commended the company for its move and urged other drug manufacturers to follow suit. The American Diabetes Association also praised Eli Lilly's decision.[4]

The pricing decision by Eli Lilly will have a significant impact, as it covers a majority of the company's insulin products.[5] The list price of Insulin Lispro, which is the off-brand name for Humalog, will be reduced to $25 per vial, down from $82.41.[6] This reduction will take effect on May 1, 2023.[7] Additionally, the prices of Humalog and Humulin will be slashed by 70% in the fourth quarter of this year.[0]

While this price reduction is a positive step, it is important to note that it only applies to some of the company's older insulin products.[8] Nonetheless, it sets an example for other insulin manufacturers and puts pressure on them to make insulin more affordable and accessible.

The decision by Eli Lilly to cap out-of-pocket costs at $35 or less per month is also significant.[9] This cap will apply to individuals with commercial insurance and will be automatically implemented at certain retail pharmacies. For those without insurance coverage, Eli Lilly offers a program that provides insulin for $35 per month.[1] Eligible individuals can visit the company's website to download a discount card.[10]

Eli Lilly's actions are part of a broader effort to address the issue of insulin affordability.[9] In recent years, there have been state and federal efforts to cap insulin costs, particularly for Medicare beneficiaries.[8] However, there is still a long way to go to ensure that every diabetes patient can access affordable insulin.

The high cost of insulin has been a long-standing concern, and advocates have been pushing for drug companies to lower prices for years. The reduction in insulin prices and the cap on out-of-pocket costs are significant steps towards addressing this issue. However, there is still a need for continued advocacy and systemic changes to ensure that all Americans can afford this life-saving medication.

Eli Lilly's decision to make insulin more affordable and accessible is a welcome development for the millions of Americans who rely on it to manage their diabetes.[11] It is a testament to the power of public pressure and the importance of holding pharmaceutical companies accountable. The hope is that other insulin manufacturers will follow suit and take similar actions to make insulin more affordable for all.

0. “Investors Pleased With Eli Lilly’s (NYSE:LLY) 70% Price Cut Move” TipRanks, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.tipranks.com/news/investors-pleased-with-eli-lillys-nyselly-70-price-cut-move

1. “Eli Lilly slashes insulin prices by 70%, caps out-of-pocket costs in major access overhaul” FiercePharma, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/lilly-slashes-insulin-prices-70-caps-out-pocket-costs-35-major-access-overhaul

2. “‘A big step in the right direction': St. Louis doctors ready for $35 insulin” KSDK.com, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/local/st-louis-doctors-ready-for-affortable-insulin/63-2a6bdf3c-1b61-4929-8e67-abfa4d017180

3. “Eli Lilly to Cut Price of Insulin by 70%, Cap Insulin Costs at $35 a Month” diaTribe Foundation, 1 Mar. 2023, https://diatribe.org/lilly-cuts-insulin-prices-by-70-percent-expands-35-dollar-insulin-cap

4. “Daily Skimm: Insulin, NYC, and Bella Hadid” theSkimm, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.theskimm.com/news/2023-03-02

5. “Eli Lilly Stock Climbs After Diabetes Giant Unveils 70% Insulin Price Cut | Investor's Business Daily” Investor's Business Daily, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.investors.com/news/technology/eli-lilly-stock-muted-as-diabetes-giant-slashes-insulin-prices/

6. “Eli Lilly to Cut Insulin Price 70%, Customer Costs Capped at $35 Per Month (LLY)” Bloomberg, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-03-01/heeding-biden-lilly-caps-out-of-pocket-insulin-costs-at-35

7. “Lilly Cuts Insulin Prices by 70% and Caps Patient Insulin Out-of-Pocket Costs at $35 Per Month | Eli Lilly and Company” Investors | Eli Lilly and Company, 1 Mar. 2023, https://investor.lilly.com/news-releases/news-release-details/lilly-cuts-insulin-prices-70-and-caps-patient-insulin-out-pocket

8. “Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks comments on why it's cutting insulin prices now” WXXI News, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.wxxinews.org/2023-03-01/eli-lilly-ceo-david-ricks-comments-on-why-its-cutting-insulin-prices-now

9. “Type 1 diabetic woman in Nashville reacts to insulin price cap” WSMV 4, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.wsmv.com/2023/03/01/type-1-diabetic-woman-nashville-reacts-insulin-price-cap/

10. “Lilly to cut insulin prices by 70%, cap costs at $35 per month for people with private insurance” CNBC, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/03/01/lilly-cuts-insulin-prices-70percent-cap-prices-at-35-per-month-for-private-insurance.html

11. “Michiganders, health experts celebrate Eli Lilly’s decision to lower insulin prices” WLUC, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.uppermichiganssource.com/2023/03/02/michiganders-health-experts-celebrate-eli-lillys-decision-lower-insulin-prices

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