Lilly and Novo Nordisk to cut insulin Prices

A white paper on what this means to medication cost management

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.

Fast-Acting Insulins

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 Insulins

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
table 2a
  • 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,
Table 2b

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PayerAlly’s mission is to provide cutting-edge support for our clients as they look to better manage prescription medication costs. We offer best-in-class consulting around the areas of PBM vendor management, clinical, financial, and strategic consulting to help clients better manage costs and improve the performance of their pharmacy benefit.