Lilly to sell cheaper version of insulin Humalog

Grant Boone
March 7, 2019

Two U.S. senators last month launched an investigation into rising insulin prices, writing to Lilly and two other leading manufacturers, asking them why the cost of the almost 100-year-old medication had rapidly risen.

Drugmaker Eli Lilly announced plans on Monday to sell a half-price version of its popular insulin injection Humalog, as it fends off criticism about rising drug prices in the United States.

The discounted insulin will sell for $137.35 per vial or $265.20 for a five pack of Kwik Pens.

We've engaged in discussions about the price of insulin with many different stakeholders in America's health care system: people living with diabetes, caregivers, advocacy groups, health care professionals, payers, wholesalers, lawmakers, and leading health care scholars.

Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado tweeted that she was "glad to see steps are being taken by some to reduce the cost of insulin, but we still have a long way to go to make it truly affordable for all", calling the increase in insulin pricing "unfathomable".

On Feb. 22, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) wrote letters to the CEOs of Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi, asking for more information about their insulin prices.

Lilly has in the past called insulin a highly-rebated product.

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The news comes one day after Treasury Board president Jane Philpott resigned from the federal cabinet . He has said he totally disagrees with Wilson-Raybould's characterization of events.

The rebranded product will be called Insulin Lispro, while Humalog, which makes $3 billion in annual sales, will remain available for those wishing to access it through existing insurance plans.

"'There are clearly patients who, despite many best efforts, are struggling to afford their insulin, ' David Ricks, the chief executive of Lilly, said in an interview Friday".

The announcement comes amid rising demand for pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. to lower prescription medication prices.

The history of the lifesaving drug insulin.

Lilly will also have its original, more expensive product, Humalog, still available for those who wish to keep using it.

The cost of insulin can vary dramatically depending on a person's insurance coverage. The move comes amid outcry over high drug prices.

About Lilly DiabetesLilly has been a global leader in diabetes care since 1923, when we introduced the world's first commercial insulin. The product has been manufactured and will be delivered to pharmacies as soon as possible, the company announced Monday. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism.

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