Drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co will offer a half-priced version of its blockbuster insulin, becoming one of the first companies to effectively cut the price of a top-selling drug amid the ongoing U.S. debate over pharmaceutical costs.
Currently, the life-saving drug costs $274.70 a vial.
There will soon be a cheaper option for insulin. Then we will give you kudos. She had to cash out her 401 (k), sold her auto, took on debt, and borrowed from her parents' retirement fund. Marston's now a 36-year-old video game attorney and advocate, who's been using Humalog since she was diagnosed at age 14. Ban Wakana, Executive Director of non-profit organization Patients For Affordable Drugs stated that $140 for a vial of insulin, a drug that was invented a century back is still too expensive. When she was first diagnosed at 14, the list price for the drug was $21 per vial.
Lilly's move garnered bipartisan support on Monday.
'Today's announcement indicates that Lilly has calculated that the resultant impact of the introduction is at worst, economically neutral with the potential for material political gain, ' Citi analyst Andrew Baum told Reuters.
The cost of insulin for treating type 1 diabetes in the United States almost doubled over a five-year period, underscoring a national outcry over rising drug prices, Reuters reported in January.
Grassley responded to Eli Lilly's decision on Twitter calling it "good news," but "only 1 piece of puzzle". Patients typically use two vials a month.
"Patients, doctors and policymakers are demanding lower list prices for medicines and lower patient costs at the pharmacy counter".
Sanofi said its insulin products were provided to uninsured or commercially insured patients for half their list price under a program launched past year.
Mike Mason, Lilly's senior vice president of connected care and insulins, told Business Insider that what he's seen is that about 95% of patients pay less than $100 a month for insulin at the pharmacy counter, while about 5% are on the hook for more.
The pharma bosses said that prices had to remain high, and that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and other "middlemen" in the United States supply chain are pocketing discounts instead of passing them on to patients, but were warned that if action wasn't taken legislation would follow. "This needs to change", says the company's CEO David Ricks.