Eli Lilly to cap out-of-pocket cost of insulin at $35 a month

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 8:30 AM EST
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INDIANAPOLIS (WNDU/AP) - Eli Lilly will cap the out-of-pocket cost of its insulin at $35 a month, and experts say the move could prompt other insulin makers in the U.S. to follow suit.

According to NBC News, the change puts the Indianapolis-based drugmaker in line with a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act, which last month imposed a $35 monthly cap on the out-of-pocket cost of insulin for seniors enrolled in Medicare.

The move, which goes into effect immediately, comes as insulin makers continue to face pressure from members of Congress and advocacy groups to lower the cost of the lifesaving medication. In 2018, the RAND Corporation estimated that the average list price for one vial of insulin in the U.S. was $98.70.

The cap automatically applies to people with private insurance. People without insurance will be eligible if they sign up for Eli Lilly’s copay assistance program, which began providing insulin to patients — regardless of their insurance statuses — for no more than $35 a month in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Associated Press, Eli Lilly also 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 September. The drugmaker didn’t detail what the new prices would be.

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.

About 8.4 million people in the U.S. with diabetes rely on insulin, according to the American Diabetes Association.

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