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California Caps Insulin Price At $30; How Much Does It Cost In Other States?

KEY POINTS

  • The insulin will cost no more than $55 for a box of five pre-filled pen cartridges
  • It will save $2,000 to $4,000 a year for many patients in California
  • Earlier, other insulin makers announced price cuts amid political pressure

California has planned to produce low-cost insulin for its residents as part of a 10-year partnership between CalRx, a California Department of Health Care Services program, and non-profit drugmaker Civica. See the article : Israeli Drones Use Free-falling Bombs, Can Carry Up To A Tonne.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced California’s plans to sell insulin at a cost of $30 for a 10-milliliter vial during a press conference Saturday. Manufactured by the Utah-based drug manufacturer, the insulin is expected to hit the shelves by next year after approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, CNN reported.

Insulin is a crucial medicine for people with Type 1 diabetes, noting that they need the drug daily in order to survive. About 8.4 million people in the country with diabetes require insulin, as per the American Diabetes Association.

“People should not be forced to go into debt to get life-saving prescriptions. Through CalRx, Californians will have access to some of the most inexpensive insulin available, helping them save thousands each year,” Newsom said during the conference.

As part of the $50 million collaboration, Civica will produce three forms of generic insulin, namely Glargine, Aspart and Lispro. The manufacturer is expecting to make these medicines to be used in place of popular brand-name insulins: Sanofi’s Lantus, Eli Lilly’s Humalog and Novo Nordisk’s Novolog.

Along with $30 per 10-milliliter vial, the insulin will cost no more than $55 for a box of five pre-filled pen cartridges for both insured and uninsured patients, the governor’s office said, assuring the medicines will be available across the nation. According to the governor, the insulin will save $2,000 to $4,000 a year for many patients in the state.

“This is a big deal, folks,” Newsom said. “This is not happening anywhere else in the United States.”

Drugmakers slash insulin prices after pressure

Amid soaring insulin costs for consumers, several Democratic lawmakers and activists called on industry leaders to put a check on the prices.

President Joe Biden has been calling on drugmakers to impose a nationwide cap of $35 a month on out-of-pocket insulin costs. While the Inflation Reduction Act limited out-of-pocket insulin costs for seniors on Medicare at $35 per month, it didn’t provide any relief to those younger than 65 needing the drug.

After immense consumer uproar and political pressure, three of the biggest drugmakers, who control 90% of the insulin supply in the U.S., announced they would cut the price of some of their products. While Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly Co. said they would slash their U.S. prices by up to 75% and 70% respectively, Sanofi also said it will cut the price of Lantus by 78% with effect from Jan. 1, 2024.

How much does insulin cost in other states?

Retail prices of insulin have skyrocketed over the past few years. The cost of a number of insulin products increased by over $200 between 2007 and 2018, as per a study published in The Lancet. It is putting further strain on people with limited to no health insurance coverage, who have reported paying more than $1,000 per month for insulin doses.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, several states passed laws to cap insulin costs at or under $100 per month, including New Mexico, Maine, New York, Washington, Utah and West Virginia. In 2019, Colorado was the first state to pass the law to set a $100 limit on insulin costs. However, these caps cover only those patients enrolled in state-regulated health insurance plans, as per reports.

AFP