Some of the insulin price cuts announced will be effective immediately, others will roll out in April and May; Lilly Chair and CEO calls industry and lawmakers to join the effort.
Diabetes drug maker Eli Lilly and Company announced today that it would reduce the price of its commonly prescribed insulin products by 70% and expand the company’s Insulin Value Program that now caps patient monthly out of pocket costs at ≤$35 per month.
Reductions in list price were announced today for:
"While the current healthcare system provides access to insulin for most people with diabetes, it still does not provide affordable insulin for everyone and that needs to change," said Lilly chair and CEO David A. Ricks, in the company announcement. "The aggressive price cuts we're announcing today should make a real difference for Americans with diabetes.
“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."
The company will immediately automatically cap out of pocket expenses at $35 at participating retail pharmacies for Lilly insulin users who are covered by commercial insurance. Further, those who do not have insurance coverage are encouraged to go to InsulinAffordability.com where they can download a savings card entitling them to receive Lilly insulins for the same $35 a month offered to those with insurance.
An important caveat to the Lilly’s “$35 solutions,” according to the company, government restrictions preclude use by persons enrolled in federal government insurance programs. However, Lilly points out that federal law already provides that Medicare Part D beneficiaries also pay no more than $35 per month for insulin.
"We are driving for change in repricing older insulins, but we know that 7 out of 10 Americans don't use Lilly insulin. We are calling on policymakers, employers and others to join us in making insulin more affordable," Ricks added.
In a statement, American Diabetes Association (ADA) Chief Executive Officer Chuck Henderson commended Lilly’s move, calling it "important step" to limiting insulin costs for patients.
“We applaud Eli Lilly for taking the important step to limit cost-sharing for its insulin, and we encourage other insulin manufacturers to do the same," Henderson said. "While we have been able to help achieve significant progress on the issue of insulin affordability, including Medicare’s new out-of-pocket cost cap on insulin, state copay caps, and patient assistance developments from insulin manufacturers, we know that our work is not done.
"ADA will work to ensure that Eli Lilly’s patient assistance program is benefiting patients as intended and continue the fight so that everyone who needs insulin has access.”
The move follows congressional and presidential action last year to pass the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) economic bill that included a $35 per month cap on out-of-pocket costs for insulin in Medicare Part D. That limit started January 1, and a similar cap will take effect July 1 for Medicare Part B.
The company plans to launch a national awareness campaign in the coming weeks to build recognition for the additional affordability solutions