Eli Lilly, a major US pharmaceutical company, declared on Wednesday that it would reduce the price of its insulin by 70%, and President Joe Biden urged others to do the same to combat rising drug costs.
Manufacturers have increased the cost of insulin in recent years, impacting millions of Americans with diabetes and sparking fierce political backlash.
“Insulin costs less than $10 to make, but Americans are sometimes forced to pay over $300 for it. It’s flat wrong,” Biden said in a statement. He hailed Eli Lilly’s price cut as “huge news.”
“It’s time for other manufacturers to follow,” Biden added.
Indianapolis-based Lilly revealed a number of measures to control the cost of the life-saving medication, including a cap on out-of-pocket expenses for those with insurance at $35 per month.
While the $35 cap is effective right away, other policies will be put into place over the time of 2023.
The price reduction of 70% for Lilly’s most popularly recommended insulin, Humalog, is a focal point.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of diabetes in adults has doubled over the last 20 years, affecting 37.3 million individuals.
According to a 2020 Rand Corporation study, insulin costs have increased dramatically in the nation and are now over eight times higher than in 32 similar high-income countries.
But pharma companies do not receive a large portion of the benefits from high costs. Instead, it is distributed as rebates to health providers. As a consequence, insurers might bear the brunt of Lilly’s financial blow.
Insulin’s high cost, especially for uninsured Americans, has become a gathering point for Big Pharma detractors.