WASHINGTON, DC — In response to today’s news that Eli Lilly will begin selling an authorized generic of Humalog for $137.35 per vial, Ben Wakana, Executive Director of Patients For Affordable Drugs, issued the following statement:
“Clearly, the insulin cartel is feeling pressure after years of price gouging a lifesaving drug. But charging nearly $140 for a vial of insulin — a drug that was invented almost a century ago — is still too high. Millions of Americans with Medicare or employer coverage will continue to face Eli Lilly’s exorbitant list price. After raising the price of Humalog more than 1000 percent in two decades, today’s announcement for only a fraction of the insulin community is not enough. We need systemic changes to fix the broken insulin market and finally solve America’s insulin affordability crisis.”
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)
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)
Bob Keller from Parsippany, New Jersey was forced to retire after complications from diabetes led to a kidney transplant. He wants his 65-year-old wife to be able to retire too, but the brunt of his diabetes medication costs rest on her. So she is still working with no retirement in sight. She can’t stop working because if the Keller’s were to use Medicare, Bob’s diabetes medication could cost up to $1,800 per month.
Almost 30 million Americans live with diabetes and 6 million need insulin to survive. (CBS News)