Drug Makers See the Light on Insulin Prices

Publication
Article
Pharmacy TimesApril 2023
Volume 89
Issue 4

On March 1, 2023, Eli Lilly and Company said it would take steps to cap insulin prices, and Novo Nordisk and Sanofi followed suit 2 weeks later.

On March 1, 2023, Eli Lilly and Company said it would take steps to cap insulin prices, and Novo Nordisk and Sanofi followed suit 2 weeks later.1

Insulin vials | Image credit: Davizro Photography - stock.adobe.com

Insulin vials | Image credit: Davizro Photography - stock.adobe.com

This is great news for the millions of Americans with diabetes who depend on the critical medication, because these 3 companies dominate the insulin market.2 The high cost of insulin has been a pain point for patients for many years and has moved into the spotlight recently.

In 2022, President Joseph R. Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, which reduced Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs for insulin to $35 per month per prescription starting in 2023. In his March 2023 State of the Union Address, the president called for capping the cost of insulin at $35 for all Americans.3

Hopefully, the days of rationing insulin are nearing an end. The results of a 2022 survey published in Annals of Internal Medicine highlighted the disparities that have plagued the US health care system. The results showed that an estimated 1.3 million US adults with diabetes rationed their insulin in the previous year by delaying prescription refills, skipping doses, or using smaller doses. This number represented 16.5% of individuals who use prescribed insulin.4

This issue of Pharmacy Times focuses on diabetes. Our Cover Feature looks at helping patients improve glycemic control for type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile, the Clinical Pharmacology Update offers a review of teplizumab-mzwv intravenous injection (Tzield) from Provention Bio, Inc, to delay the onset of stage 3 type 1 diabetes (T1D) in individuals 8 years and older with stage 2 T1D.

Elsewhere in this issue, there are tips on helping patients cope with asthma, promoting vaccine confidence, and identifying and addressing the causes of insomnia to prevent other health complications.

Thanks for reading.

REFERENCES

1. Luhby T. Novo Nordisk becomes latest to announce it is cutting insulin prices by up to 75%. CNN. Updated March 14, 2023. Accessed March 17, 2023. https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/14/health/novo-nordisk-insulinprices/index.html

2. Luhby T. Sanofi becomes latest drugmaker to announce insulin price cuts, capping costs at $35 for privately insured. CNN. March 16, 2023. Accessed March 17, 2023. https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/16/health/sanofiinsulin-price-reduction/index.html

3. Wolf ZB, Merrill C. Biden’s State of the Union address, annotated and factchecked. CNN. February 8, 2023. Accessed March 17, 2023. https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2023/02/annotated-fact-checked-president-biden-sotu/

4. Gaffney A, Himmelstein DU, Woolhandler S. Prevalence and correlates of patient rationing of insulin in the United States: a national survey. Ann Intern Med. 2022;175(11):1623-1626. doi:10.7326/M22-2477

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