Insulin costs capped at $35 per month by Eli Lilly

Patient advocates have long called for insulin price cuts to help uninsured people who would not be affected by price caps tied to insurance coverage.
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 6:58 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - For years, the cost of prescription drugs, like insulin, has cost people with diabetes thousands of dollars out-of-pocket.

That could soon come to an end after Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical company, announced on March 1 that they would be capping the cost of insulin to $35 per month. This could potentially save patients with diabetes a significant amount of money and allow them to be able to afford the medicine they need in order to survive.

David A. Ricks, CEO of Eli Lilly, hopes other companies will follow suit in capping the cost of insulin.

“We are calling today on our partners in the insurance industry, government policymakers, and employers who set the policy for their own insurance to match this new effort to reduce the cost to no more than $35 a month for insulin for all Americans. We are doing that for our products,” said Ricks. “We call on everyone to meet us at this point and take this issue away from, you know, a disease that’s stressful and difficult to manage already take away the affordability challenges.”

Ricks is not the only one hoping other pharmaceutical companies follow in Eli Lilly’s footsteps. Dr. Swapna Deo and Dr. Brad Thrasher, both Endocrinologists at Norton’s Hospital in Louisville, said it can benefit all parties involved.

”I feel that dropping it (insulin) to $35 is a major step. Hopefully, that will keep these insulin prices affordable so that people can get their supply for the month, and actually go get their insulin,” said Dr. Deo.

”This is one pharmaceutical company of many that makes insulin. A lot of our families and patients are going to feel relief from it, but not all. I am hopeful that others will follow suit as well, start to look at their budgets and find what they can do to help people out,” said Dr. Thrasher.

Thrasher said not to expect to pay $35 for insulin right away. Instead, he recommended those who have a prescription consult with their insurance company or pharmacist about when this new rate will be implemented.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky estimated that the average diabetic spends around $4,800 per year on their medication after insurance. That number could see a dramatic decrease in the near future.