WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued by Merith Basey, executive director of Patients For Affordable Drugs, in response to Eli Lilly and Company’s announcement to lower some of the company’s insulin prices by 70% and cap out-of-pocket costs at $35 per month:
“Eli Lilly’s new insulin prices and caps will deliver long-awaited relief to many people living with diabetes in this country. Let us be abundantly clear, these lower prices are not thanks to Eli Lilly’s generosity – this win is thanks to the relentless pressure and years of activism by patient advocates combined with growing political momentum.
“It is also a stark reminder that arguments from big drug companies like Eli Lilly that they cannot lower prices are blatantly false and that corporations arbitrarily keep their prices high at the expense of people’s lives.
“Now it’s time for the other big insulin corporations like Novo Nordisk and Sanofi to follow suit and lower insulin prices too – since it’s clear they have the power to do so. We must keep the pressure on for them to get it done.”
Patient advocate reactions:
- “One of my greatest fears is that the day will come when I’m no longer here to provide for [my daughter’s] medical care, and this news alleviates some of the worry I have about her future ability to afford her insulin… We must be clear that this announcement is not due to the benevolence of Eli Lilly, but rather the result of painstaking and difficult work done by those who’ve spent so much of their time and energy over the years pushing for change and reform. We must also be clear that this is not the end.” – Clayton McCook, Edmond, OK
- “What a great day! An amazing achievement. Thank you to all those that have been fighting this fight for a very long time. [This is] an example of how advocating can make changes. We need to continue the fight.” – Bob Parant, Westbury, NY
- Eli Lilly’s announcement includes:
- Effective May 1, a reduction in the list price of the authorized generic, Insulin Lispro, to $25 from $82 per vial.
- A decrease in the list price of Humalog, Lilly’s most commonly prescribed insulin, to $82 in the fourth quarter of this year. Humalog was first approved in 1996, so this reduction comes after 27 years and 34 list price hikes amounting to more than a 1,200% increase.
- Effective April 1, the launch of a biosimilar version of Sanofi’s blockbuster insulin, Lantus, at a price of $92 for a five pack of pens.
- An expansion of Lilly’s copay assistance program, which allows patients to pay $35 at retail pharmacies if they have commercial insurance. A continuation of Lilly’s coupon program for the uninsured to pay $35 out-of-pocket each month.