Eli Lilly

Lilly to cut U.S. insulin prices by 70% from fourth quarter

March 1 (Reuters) – Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY.N) will cut list prices by 70% for its most commonly prescribed forms of insulin, Humalog and Humulin, beginning from the fourth quarter of this year, the drugmaker said on Wednesday.

The move comes amid criticism of healthcare companies by U.S. lawmakers over rising costs of insulin, with President Joe Biden’s signature Inflation Reduction Act including a $35 cap on insulin for those enrolled in Medicare health insurance plans.

“While we could wait for Congress to act or the healthcare system in general to apply that standard, we’re just applying it ourselves,” Chief Executive Dave Ricks told CNN in an interview.

The drugmaker will also lower the price of its non-branded insulin injection Lispro to $25 a vial and expand its Insulin Value Program, under which the $35 cap will apply to about 85% of U.S. pharmacies.

Rick said patients using other pharmacies that do not participate in the program can get a rebate through the drugmaker’s website.

He said the price cuts “should be the new standard in America” and called on other companies and stakeholders “to meet up at this point”.

“Insulin has become such a pivotal issue because of affordability,” Rick said.

Around 8.4 million of the 37 million people in the United States with diabetes use insulin, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Eli Lilly, along with Sanofi (SASY.PA) and Novo Nordisk (NOVOb.CO) make up 90% of the U.S. market for insulin.

Drugmakers had previously priced insulin at more than $275 a vial, representing a 1,200% increase in price over the past 20 years, according to the advocacy group Insulin Initiative.

Reporting by Bhanvi Satija in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Susan Heavey, Editing by Arun Koyyur

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