Pharmaceutical company Sanofi has become the third producer of insulin to cut prices for patients.
The drug maker announced on March 16 it will reduce its list price of Lantus (insulin glargine injection) 100 U/mL by 78% in 2024. That is the company’s most widely prescribed insulin in the United States.
Sanofi will establish a $35 cap on out-of-pocket costs for Lantus for all patients with commercial insurance. The company already has an unbranded Lantus biologic priced 60% lower and has a $35 per month out-of-pocket cap on insulin costs for patients without commercial insurance.
The short-acting drug Apidra (insulin glulisine injection) 100 U/mL also will have its price cut by 70%.
“Sanofi believes that no one should struggle to pay for their insulin and we are proud of our continued actions to improve access and affordability for millions of patients for many years,” company Head of US General Medicines Olivier Bogillot said in the announcement.
Sanofi launched its unbranded biologic for Lantus at 60% less than the Lantus list price in June 2022. Despite that low-price approach, the health system was unable to take advantage of it due to its inherent structural challenges, Bogillot said in the news release.
“We are pleased to see others join our efforts to help patients as we now accelerate the transformation of the US insulin market,” Bogillot said. Our decision to cut the list price of our lead insulin needs to be coupled with broader change to the overall system to actually drive savings for patients at the pharmacy counter.”
Sanofi becomes the third pharmaceutical company this month to announce price cuts for insulin. Eli Lilly and Co. and Novo Nordisk will reduce costs for patients with diabetes.
The 3 drew praise from President Joe Biden, who has touted benefits to patients as the administration and Congress have changed health care laws and regulations on insulin and prescription drug prices.
“Sanofi is the latest company to recognize that charging hundreds of dollars for insulin that costs $10 to produce is just wrong, especially when the lives of so many children, parents, and grandparents depend on it,” the president said in a statement March 16.
Last year, Congress approved the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), with various economic policies and provisions, including dealing with health care. Despite changes to its elected members, Congress should not repeal the IRA to give tax cuts to billionaires, the president said.
“Where Congress won’t work with me, I will continue to speak out and act on my own, just as I have to give millions of families life-changing breathing room on insulin costs,” the president said in his statement. “After the strongest two years of job growth and new small business applications in history, and with real progress against the inflation affecting countries around the world, I am more optimistic than ever that America’s best days are ahead.”
As for insulin costs, Sanofi said the company offers other savings plans: