On March 1, 2023, Eli Lilly and Company announced the following price reductions for its manufactured insulins:
- Insulin Lispro 100 units/mL vial reduced to $25/vial effective May 1, 2023, a 70% drop from the estimated current $82.41/vial
- Humalog® (insulin lispro) 100 units/mL vial and Humulin® (insulin human) 100 units/mL reduced by 70% effective Q4 2023
- Effective April 1, 2023, Rezvoglar™ (insulin glargine-aglr), a biosimilar to Lantus® (insulin glargine), will be available for $92 per 5-pack of KwikPens® which represents a 78% discount to Lantus®
In addition to these changes, the company will be capping the out-of-pocket payment at $35 for commercial members using Lilly insulin–matching the pricing Medicare members received through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (“IRA”) provision that went into effect this month.
(Note: This cap has already been in place for patients without coverage through the Lilly Insulin Value Program.)
What does this mean?
On paper, these revisions appear to be a big win for patients with diabetes. Lowering costs alleviates a potential financial burden and removes one of the biggest barriers to adherence.
But consumers should look a bit closer: After factoring in existing discounts and rebates, these new prices basically make the upfront cost equivalent to the current net cost. Additionally, most commercial insurance members are already paying copays at or below $35 today–further diminishing the impact of these reductions.
At Abarca, we believe transparency in pricing is absolutely essential. Given the public response to Eli Lilly’s announcement—and the increased regulatory interest brought by the FTC and the American Recovery Act—it will be interesting to see how other drug manufacturers respond.
One thing is clear: this is just the beginning.
* This blog was written by David Baker, Director of Clinical Sales at Abarca