Published: Thu, March 07, 2019
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Lilly to Introduce Lower-Priced Insulin | Proteins and Peptides

Lilly to Introduce Lower-Priced Insulin | Proteins and Peptides

Although Eli Lilly executives were not involved in the Senate Finance Committee hearings last week, Business Insider reported that the firm's move to offer its insulin at a 50 percent reduction was "a bet that a lower price tag will help it escape the political crosshairs".

USA drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co plans to sell a half-price version of its Humalog insulin injection, as it fends off criticism about rising drug prices.

List prices are initial figures drugmakers attach to a product.

The news comes as the US government intensifies its scrutiny of the pharmaceutical industry and rising USA prescription drug prices, a top voter concern and a priority of President Donald Trump's administration.

Humalog brought in $1.8 billion in US sales previous year for Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co.

Eli Lilly announced on Monday it will introduce a lower-priced, generic version of its insulin.

"While this change is a step in the right direction, all of us in the healthcare community must do more to fix the problem of high out-of-pocket costs for Americans living with chronic conditions", Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks said in a statement.

The new generic version is aimed largely at those without insurance and those who pay a large portion of their drug costs even with insurance.

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Two senators last month launched an investigation into rising insulin prices, writing to Lilly and other leading manufacturers, asking them why the cost of the almost 100-year-old medication had rapidly risen.

The announcement comes as the skyrocketing cost of insulin and other life-saving drugs has been the focus of state- and federal-level debate, with lawmakers publicly criticizing high drug prices and people sharing their personal struggles affording necessary medicines.

Laura Marston vividly remembers what it's like to pay $140 for a vial of insulin. A company spokeswoman said the average person uses about two vials a month, and the pack of pens can last a month or more.

"What we have learned through this announcement is that lowering the cost of this important drug is much more doable than previously thought", said the Colorado Democrat, who chairs the House committee investigating the cost of insulin.

The new insulin is a generic version of Lilly's popular Humalog.

The history of the lifesaving drug insulin.

Shares of Lily edged up 66 cents to $129.50 in morning trading Monday.

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