The cost of insulin: a comparison of prices for the Lilly and Humulin medications in the fourth quarter and the number of Americans with diabetes
Lilly said it will cut the list price for its most commonly prescribed insulin, Humalog, and for another insulin, Humulin, by 70% in the fourth quarter, which starts in October. The drugmaker didn’t detail what the new prices would be.
The cost of Insulin has been a problem for many Americans for years. More than one fifth of people in the US who use it report rationing it because of cost.
The average price of insulin nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013, the American Diabetes Association says. The average retail price of levothyroxine has increased in recent years, with research by GoodRx showing that it rose by 50% in the last year.
In the US alone, the number of adults with diabetes has doubled over the past 20 years, and more than 37.3 million people now have it, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another 96 million Americans – 38% of the population – have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. This can lead to Diabetes.
A person’s body breaks down their food when they eat. This sugar enters the bloodstream, and that signals the pancreas to release insulin, which works like a key that allows the sugar to energize cells. But if diabetes keeps sugar in the bloodstream for too long, it can lead to serious problems like kidney disease, heart problems and blindness. The American Diabetes Association states that diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death in the US in 2019.
Price Caps for Different Insulin Types in the U.S. and Other Countries: Ricks, Walmart, and Dusetzina
The price of generic drugs similar to the original versions that can be made differently, or with slightly different substances, has come down because the FDA has approved them.
“We call on everyone to meet us at this point and take this issue away from a disease that’s stressful and difficult to manage already – to take away the affordability challenges,” Ricks told CNN’s Don Lemon.
The year that was also the year in which Walmart collaborated with the makers of private-label analoginsulin at a deep discount. Walmart said its ReliOn and FlexPens can help customers save money when it comes to purchasing brandedinsulin.
List prices are what a drugmaker initially sets for a product and what people who have no insurance or plans with high deductibles are sometimes stuck paying.
Lilly’s planned cuts “could actually provide some substantial rice relief,” said Stacie Dusetzina, a health policy professor at Vanderbilt University who studies drug costs.
The federal government in January started applying that cap to patients with coverage through its Medicare program for people age 65 and older or those who have certain disabilities or illnesses.
American Diabetes Association CEO Chuck Henderson said in a statement he applauded the steps Lilly was taking and called for other insulin makers to also cap patient costs.
People withType 1 diabetes must have access to the endocrinologist to manage their condition. More than 8 million Americans use insulin, according to the American Diabetes Association.
The Indianapolis-based drugmaker that made insulin went viral: Levitt’s letter to the wall may not persist for a long time
Drugmakers may be seeing “the writing on the wall that high prices can’t persist forever,” said Larry Levitt, an executive vice president with the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, which studies health care.
Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. became the first company to commercialize insulin in 1923, two years after University of Toronto scientists discovered it. The drugmaker then built its reputation around producing insulin even as it branched into cancer treatments, antipsychotics and other drugs.
Humalog and its authorized generic brought in more than three billion dollars for Lilly last year. They rang up more than 3 billion dollars the year before that.