Medicine

Lilly to Introduce Lower-Priced Insulin | Proteins and Peptides

Lilly to Introduce Lower-Priced Insulin | Proteins and Peptides

In the last five years, Lilly has donated more than 5.4 million insulin vials and pens in the U.S.

US drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co plans to sell a half-price version of its Humalog insulin injection, as it fends off criticism about rising drug prices.

The company said it is working to make the insulin available as quickly as possible.

There are millions of people with diabetes in the United States, and insulin has become a particular flashpoint for the debate over the cost of drugs.

"What we have learned through this announcement is that lowering the cost of this important drug is much more doable than previously thought", said the Colorado Democrat, who chairs the House committee investigating the cost of insulin.

Lilly, Novo and Sanofi all heavily discount the price of many of their diabetes medications, and there is typically a wide difference in the list and net prices.

"Charging nearly $140 for a vial of insulin - a drug that was invented almost a century ago - is still too high", Ben Wakana, executive director of the nonprofit Patients For Affordable Drugs, said in a statement Monday.

Lilly's 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.

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

"Clearly, the insulin cartel is feeling pressure after years of price gouging a lifesaving drug", he wrote. The move comes as lawmakers have been putting the big three makers of insulin-Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi-under scrutiny due to their drugs' steadily rising prices.

Yet many patients say the rising price of the drug is putting it out of reach, forcing them to dangerously curtail their doses.

Eli Lilly and other insulin manufacturers point to pharmacy benefit negotiations and new developments as some of the reasons for high prices.

"Humalog isn't thirteen times as effective as it used to be", Wyden said.

Lilly, a leading producer of insulin, is one of many firms that has been grilled by U.S. senators in the last week.

About Lilly DiabetesLilly has been a global leader in diabetes care since 1923, when we introduced the world's first commercial insulin. 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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