SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — This is fantastic news! I know many patients that rely on insulin. And the rising costs have caused much stress and financial hardships to many people and their families. Now, those who don’t use this medication likely don’t know that prices almost tripled between 2002 and 2013. And then, between 2014 and 2019, the average price rose by 54%.
So I absolutely support Eli Lilly’s decision to cut its prices. The company is dropping the cost of 10 mL vials of its fast-acting injectable drug called Humalog U-100 from $274.70 to $66.40. Also, the price of Humulin U-100 - which is an older fast-acting drug - will drop from $148.70 to $44.61 for 10 mL vials. Now, these new prices won’t take effect until sometime between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31. However, starting May 1st, the drug company does plan to reduce the list price of its non-branded insulin from $82.41 to $25 a vial.
On top of that, they will cap out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 for patients that are privately insured and use participating pharmacies. And for patients with no insurance, they can access the company’s Insulin Value Program, which will cap the cost of Lilly insulin at $35 or less per month.
Insulin is prescribed to people with Type 1 diabetes and to some people with Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition, and people can die if they don’t have enough insulin. What happens is the body’s immune system attacks the cells that make insulin in the pancreas. Leaving it incapable of making insulin or it makes very little. Whereas with Type 2 diabetes, the body still makes insulin, but it doesn’t work as it should.
If not treated properly, complications can include:
- Heart and blood vessel disease that is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke
- Nerve damage like tingling, numbness, burning or pain
- Kidney damage that could lead to kidney failure
- Foot damage that could raise the risk of serious infections and amputations
- And eye damage which could lead to blindness.
Unfortunately, I have family members with diabetes. And know first-hand how it can change your life. So people who need insulin need to be able to access it. And that’s why I’m excited that Eli Lilly is cutting its insulin prices and making this drug affordable for more people.