January 10, 2019 Press Releases

STATEMENT: The Insulin Cartel Raises Prices in January 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In response to today’s news that Sanofi and Novo Nordisk raised prices on insulin products by about 5 percent each in January, David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs, issued the following statement:

“For millions of Americans, insulin is like water –– it is required for life. The latest hikes are outrageous and offensive. Three companies control the market for insulin, and the CEOs of Sanofi and Novo Nordisk are charging as much as they can get away with. Make no mistake: People will suffer and some will die because of this corporate greed. Congress must enact legislation to lower the prices of insulin and require full transparency so patients and elected officials can implement solutions to the insulin affordability crisis.”


  • FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb: “We’ve heard frequent reports of patients rationing insulin, and in some cases dying because they can’t afford the injections they need to survive. These tragic stories aren’t isolated occurrences. And they’re not acceptable for a drug that’s nearly a century old.” (STAT News)
  • Almost 30 million Americans live with diabetes and 6 million need insulin to survive. (CBS News)
  • The scientists who discovered insulin nearly 100 years ago gave away their right to profit from it because they believed everyone deserved access to this life-saving medication. (The Washington Post)
  • “From 2010 to 2015, the price of Lantus (made by Sanofi) went up by 168 percent; the price of Levemir (made by Novo Nordisk) rose by 169 percent; and the price of Humulin R U-500 (made by Eli Lilly) soared by 325 percent.” (New York Times)
  • The three companies that control the world’s insulin supply are being targeted in lawsuits by people with diabetes, including a suit filed by Minnesota’s attorney general accusing Sanofi, Novo Nordisk, and Eli Lilly of deceptively raising prices for insulin. (Reuters)



Patients For Affordable Drugs is the only independent national patient organization focused exclusively on achieving policy changes to lower the price of prescription drugs.