MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — After pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced it was significantly cutting prices on insulin and capping out-of-pocket costs, some Central Virginians can finally take a sigh of relief.
This week, the drugmaker announced it’s reducing the price for 70% of its prescribed insulin products. In addition, the company is setting a cap for out-of-patient costs to $35 a month. This number is the same amount set under the Inflation Reduction Act for Medicare beneficiaries.
The recent announcement is welcomed news for families in Mechanicsville like mother Tara Gray whose daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 10. She says her daughter’s diagnosis not only changed her child’s life but her entire family with high expenses.
“For many families and many type ones it really is like a slow financial suicide,” said Mother Tara Gray.
According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes have nearly two times more medical expenses than those without. Virginians spend $6.1 billion in direct medical expenses and $2.3 billion in indirect costs.
The company detailed that they are reducing the list price of the following items:
- Cutting the list price of its non-branded insulin, Insulin Lispro Injection 100 units/mL, to $25 a vial. Effective May 1, 2023, it will be the lowest list-priced mealtime insulin available, and less than the price of a Humalog® vial in 1999.
- Cutting the list price of Humalog® (insulin lispro injection) 100 units/mL1, Lilly’s most commonly prescribed insulin, and Humulin® (insulin human) injection 100 units/mL2 by 70%, effective in Q4 2023.
- Launching RezvoglarTM (insulin glargine-aglr) injection, a basal insulin that is biosimilar to, and interchangeable with, Lantus® (insulin glargine) injection, for $92 per five pack of KwikPens®, a 78% discount to Lantus, effective April 1, 2023.
“The aggressive price cuts we’re announcing today should make a real difference for Americans with diabetes,” David Ricks, Eli Lilly’s chair and CEO, said in a statement. “Because these price cuts will take time for the insurance and pharmacy system to implement, we are taking the additional step to immediately cap out-of-pocket costs for patients who use Lilly insulin and are not covered by the recent Medicare Part D cap.”
Eli Lilly has additionally cut back on out-of-pocket costs for consumers:
- Effective immediately, Lilly will automatically cap out-of-pocket costs at $35 at participating retail pharmacies for people with commercial insurance using Lilly insulin.3
- People who don’t have insurance can continue to go to InsulinAffordability.com and immediately download the Lilly Insulin Value Program savings card to receive Lilly insulins for $35 per month.
The company is now calling on employers and policymakers to join in on the efforts to make insulin more affordable. This is something Gray says will significantly help a lot of families.
“That would be huge! That could mean the difference between a family going on vacation or not,” said Gray.