Lilly to sell cheaper version of insulin Humalog

03/07/2019 04:00 | 2

Lilly to sell cheaper version of insulin Humalog

Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced Monday that it will sell a generic version of Humalog, its branded insulin product.

The cost of insulin for treating type 1 diabetes in the United States has almost doubled over a five-year period, leading some patients to put their own health at risk by rationing the medication.

The company said it is working to make the authorized generic available to patients as quickly as possible.

Lilly's rebranded product would be called Insulin Lispro, it said, while Humalog, which makes $3 billion in annual sales, will remain available for those wishing to access it through existing insurance plans.

Humalog brought in $1.8 billion in US sales and about $3 billion globally previous year for Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. Oregon Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden said in a statement Monday that Lilly's decision to offer a generic version of a long-established drug like Humalog will be part of that investigation. "But charging nearly $140 for a vial of insulin - a drug that was invented almost a century ago - is still too high", said Ben Wakana, executive director of Patients for Affordable Drugs.

The Wall Street Journal Editor-in-Chief Matt Murray and FBN's Cheryl Casone and Lauren Simonetti on pharmaceutical companies' reportedly planning to raise drug prices in 2019. "We're eager to bring forward a low-cost rapid-acting insulin".

The move comes amid growing concerns about the soaring prices of drugs - insulin in particular - which have led many people with diabetes to cut back on their insulin in order to save on costs, in some cases leading to harmful or even deadly complications. Lilly was not one of those companies, but they were sent a letter from Congress asking for information on their price for insulin.

Sanofi said its insulin products were provided to uninsured or commercially insured patients for half their list price under a program launched previous year.

List prices are initial figures drugmakers attach to a product and are typically knocked down by rebates.

Sanofi's CEO said in his testimony that the average net price of Lantus, the company's most prescribed insulin, has fallen by more than 30 per cent since 2012, yet out-of-pocket costs for patients with commercial insurance and Medicare have increased about 60 per cent.

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

The history of the lifesaving drug insulin.

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