Insulin Prices Are Going Down by 70%—Here’s What You Need to Know

Updated: Mar. 07, 2023

Drugmaker Eli Lilly's new cap will drop insulin prices to $35 per month, saving patients millions in expenses.

Drugmaker Eli Lilly announced some good news for people with diabetes this week. The company is capping insulin prices at $35 per month, cutting its price by 70%, in a move that could save people millions in out-of-pocket expenses each month.

“While the current healthcare system provides access to insulin for most people with diabetes, it still does not provide affordable insulin for everyone and that needs to change,” said David A. Ricks, Lilly’s Chair and CEO, in a press release. “The aggressive price cuts we’re announcing today should make a real difference for Americans with diabetes.”

President Joe Biden called Eli Lilly’s announcement “a big deal.” In a statement, the president said, “For far too long, American families have been crushed by drug costs many times higher than what people in other countries are charged for the same prescriptions. Insulin costs less than $10 to make, but Americans are sometimes forced to pay over $300 for it. It’s flat wrong.”

How will insulin prices be capped?

woman doing insulin injection using an insulin penagrobacter/Getty Images

According to Eli Lilly, it will cut the list price of its non-branded insulin to $25 a vial as of May 1, 2023, which will be the lowest list-priced mealtime insulin available. The current list price is more than $80 per vial.

Meanwhile, a vial of Humalog, Eli Lilly’s most commonly prescribed insulin, will drop to $66.40 from $274.70.

Finally, a vial of Humulin will drop from $148.70 to $44.61. Eli Lilly will automatically cap out-of-pocket costs at $35 at participating retail pharmacies for people with commercial insurance using Eli Lilly insulin.

Why is an insulin price cap so important?

Diabetes is the fastest-growing chronic disease in the world. Rising insulin prices have been a problem for Americans for decades. The average price of insulin rose 54% between 2014 and 2019, according to research by GoodRx. Before that, between 2002 and 2013, insulin prices tripled, according to the American Diabetes Association. About 8.4 million people in the United States with diabetes rely on insulin, according to the ADA.

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