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Starting in June, the Paris-based drugmaker will allow patients of all income levels to pay $99 each month for up to 10 boxes of insulin pens, 10-milliliter (ml) vials, or some mixture of the two. Previously, the company offered individuals who paid cash one 1-ml vial for $99 or $149 for a box of pens.
The announcement comes as executive vice president Kathleen Tregoning is slated to testify on Wednesday in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on insulin prices.
The offer will not include the combination therapy Soliqua launched in 2017 and, due to federal law, Medicare and Medicaid enrollees are ineligible.
“It is unacceptable to Sanofi that some people living with diabetes are struggling to pay for their insulin, so we have moved to act creatively and aggressively to help address affordability and access needs,” head of North America primary care Michelle Carnahan said in a statement. “We aim to help limit the burden on the individuals who have high out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy counter.”
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Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the panel’s top Democrat, also previously launched an investigation into the increasing cost of insulin, requesting documents and other information from Eli Lilly & Co., Novo Nordisk and Sanofi on their pricing practices.
In response to the intensifying public pressure, Eli Lilly launched a half-priced version of its Humalog insulin injection called Insulin Lispro. It costs $137.35 for one vial.
Earlier this month, Express Scripts also said it would allow clients to cap insulin costs for patients at $25 a month. Any extra costs would be picked up by Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk or Sanofi, the PBM said.
The price of Sanofi’s Lantus grew 77 percent over the past few years, as Eli Lilly’s Humalog rose 585 percent to $234 between 2001 and 2015.