Lilly Cuts Some Insulin Prices, Caps Out-of-Pocket Costs

Eli Lilly announced it will automatically cap out-of-pocket (OOP) costs at $35 at participating retail pharmacies for Americans with commercial insurance using some of its insulin products.

Eli Lilly announced 70% price reductions for its most commonly prescribed insulins, as well as an expansion of its Insulin Value Program capping patient out-of-pocket (OOP) costs at $35 or less per month.

Lilly is reducing the list price of some of its insulins in several ways throughout 2023.

Effective May 1, the list price of Lilly’s non-branded insulin, insulin lispro injection 100 units/mL, will be reduced to $25 a vial. This will make it the lowest list-priced mealtime insulin available and will cost less than the price of a vial of branded insulin lispro, Humalog, in 1999, the company said.

Effective in the fourth quarter, the list price of Humalog 100 units/mL—the company’s most commonly prescribed insulin—and insulin human (Humulin) injection 100 units/mL will be cut by 70%.

Lilly will launch insulin glargine-aglr (Rezvoglar) injection, a basal insulin that is biosimilar to and interchangeable with insulin glargine (Lantus) injection. Effective April 1, the biosimilar injection will have a list price of $92 per 5 pack of KwikPens, a 78% discount compared with Lantus.

According to the announcement, these actions aim to make it easier for Americans with diabetes to access Lilly insulin, and help those who may have trouble navigating a health care system that may keep them from accessing affordable insulin.

"While the current healthcare system provides access to insulin for most people with diabetes, it still does not provide affordable insulin for everyone and that needs to change," David A. Ricks, Lilly's CEO and chair, said in a statement. "The aggressive price cuts we're announcing today should make a real difference for Americans with diabetes. Because these price cuts will take time for the insurance and pharmacy system to implement, we are taking the additional step to immediately cap out-of-pocket costs for patients who use Lilly insulin and are not covered by the recent Medicare Part D cap."

Beyond cutting list prices of its insulins, Lilly said it is also cutting OOP costs.

Stacie Dusetzina, PhD, professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University and editorial board member at The American Journal of Managed Care®, told the Associated Press that these changes will likely not affect Lilly much from a financial standpoint because the insulins are older, with some already facing competition.

Effective immediately, Lilly will automatically cap OOP costs at $35 at participating retail pharmacies for Americans with commercial insurance using Lilly insulin. Americans without insurance can continue to visit and download the Lilly Insulin Value Program savings card to receive Lilly insulins for $35 per month.

In January, CMS started applying that cap for Medicare beneficiaries. In early February, President Biden called for the extension of the $35 cap on insulin for all Americans during his State of the Union Address.

"We capped the cost of insulin at $35 a month for seniors on Medicare. But there are millions of other Americans who are not on Medicare, including 200,000 young people with Type 1 diabetes who need insulin to save their lives," Biden said during the address. "Let’s finish the job this time."

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