Eli Lilly Announces Price Reductions & Monthly Cap For Insulin

Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Company announced today that it will reduce the prices of many of its insulin products and cap what patients pay out of their own pockets for insulin at $35 a month.
(photo: Alan Levine/public domain)

Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Company announced price reductions for many of its insulin products as well as a $35 monthly cap for what patients pay out of their own pockets for insulin.

From the New York Times:

The move marks at least a partial retreat for a company that has been a primary contributor to soaring prices for an injection that millions of Americans rely on to keep their blood sugar levels in check.

It comes at a time of mounting political pressure on drug companies to rein in what lawmakers and other critics view as the industry’s pattern of abusive profiteering.

Over nearly three decades, for example, Lilly has raised the price on its most widely used insulin product, Humalog, by more than 1,000 percent.

It’s worth noting is the lower list prices will apply only to the company’s older insulin products. For instance, a vial of Humalog (Eli Lilly’s most commonly used insulin) currently has a list price of $275. And patients regularly go through several vials each month. Eli Lilly says it will cut the price to $66 per vial.

But – one of the companies newer iterations of Humalog, a prefilled insulin pen that has a list price of $530, is not part of the planned price reductions. Nor is the company’s long-acting insulin product, Basaglar.

The new pricing is expected to take effect the last three months of this year.

President Biden celebrated the news on Twitter pointing out that last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, which he signed into law, imposed a $35 a month ceiling on insulin co-payments for Medicare patients.

At the time, Democrats tried to bring down the cost of insulin for all Americans, but Republicans voted that down.

It’s estimated that about 7 million Americans use insulin to control their diabetes on a daily basis.