Big Molecule Watch
March 22, 2023

Insulin Updates: March 2023

On March 1, Eli Lilly was the first to announce U.S. list price reductions of 70% for its most commonly prescribed insulins and an expansion of its Insulin Value Program that caps patient out-of-pocket costs at $35 or less per month. Lilly’s announcement noted that, effective May 1, it will be cutting the U.S. list price of its non-branded insulin, Insulin Lispro Injection 100 units/mL, to $25 a vial.

Last Tuesday, Novo Nordisk, made an announcement that it too would be cutting the U.S. list price of its insulin products, including NOVOLOG insulin, by up to 75% and U.S. prices for NOVOLIN and LEVEMIR by 65% by January 2024. These reduced U.S. list prices include pre-filled pens and vials of basal (long-acting), bolus (short-acting) and pre-mix insulins, specifically LEVEMIR, NOVOLIN, NOVOLOG and NOVOLOG MIX 70/30.

Two days later, on March 16, French firm Sanofi was the last of the three major manufacturers of insulin products to cap the price of its insulin products. Sanofi announced that, effective January 1, 2024, it will cut the list price of LANTUS (insulin glargine injection) 100 Units/mL by 78% to $35 per month for those with private insurance.

On Saturday March 19, Governor Newsom announced that his CalRx Biosimilar Insulin Initiative aims to bring down the price of insulin by about 90%, with patients saving between $2,000 – $4,000 annually. The initiative is part of CalRx, a program by the State of California that allows the state “to develop, produce, and distribute generic drugs and sell them at low cost.” by developing target drugs in collaboration with public programs in California. The Governor’s website reports that a 100 mL vial of insulin costs $30 to manufacture and distribute, and that is how much patients will be expected to pay for it. According to the Office of the Governor, CalRx plans to make biosimilar insulins available for Glargine, Aspart, and Lispro, which are expected to be interchangeable with LANTUS, HUMALOG, and NOVOLOG respectively.

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