What was the change?
Both Lilly and Novo Nordisk have announced that their companies will reduce the price of several branded insulin products by as much as 75%. Novo’s decision on March 14th followed closely after Eli Lilly’s earlier announcement on March 1st to reduce its insulin prices by up to 70%.
- Over the years, both companies have gradually increased their insulin list prices, while offering significant rebates to health plan payers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).
- These anticipated price reductions also come amidst the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act that caps the monthly cost-sharing limit on insulin to $35 for people on Medicare, which triggered the call for further action to reduce costs among those who have commercial insurance.
The global insulin market is dominated by Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi, who have been reported to make up 90% of the U.S. market. These pharmaceutical manufacturers have withstood criticism for the high prices of their insulin products. Until now, the companies have mostly worked to expand their safety-net programs offered to uninsured patients, while continuing to raise list prices, arguing those increases have been offset by rebates to insurers.
New price changes for Novo insulin products go into effect on January 1, 2024, while Lilly’s price reductions are anticipated in Q4 of 2023.
The table summarizes the estimated price reductions anticipated for short-acting insulins. The majority of price decreases range from 50% - 75% for insulin brands, as well as non-branded insulins, to match the lowered price of brand insulins whose prices are being cut.
Basal insulin products will also have reduced prices.
- Novo’s Levemir will decrease to $107.85 per 10ml vial, and $32.35 per 3ml pen and make Levemir more comparable in price with unbranded and biosimilar insulin glargine products
- Lilly is also launching insulin glargine-aglr (Rezvoglar) another basal insulin which is a biosimilar and interchangeable to insulin glargine (Lantus) for $95 per 5-pack of pens, on April 1,
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