Eli Lilly Announces Half-Priced Version of Humalog Insulin

Eli Lilly announced Monday, March 4, 2019, that it will offer a version of the popular Humalog rapid-acting insulin that is 50 percent cheaper than Humalog’s current list price of $275 per vial. The lowest priced version will be a generic version of Humalog and called insulin lispro, according to Company press release. It retails for a list price of $137.35 per vial. Five packs of KwikPens will cost $265.20.

Like its brand cousin, insulin lispro is taken at mealtimes to cover up the glucose (sugar) that comes from food. It uses the same molecule as Humalog. The company says insulin lispro will be released to drugstores “as soon as possible” and sold as a licensed generic through a subsidiary, ImClone Systems.

Eli Lilly is among the major manufacturers of insulin — along with Sanofi and Novo Nordisk — that has faced criticism for rapidly rising insulin prices in recent years. Humalog’s price increased by 138 percent between 2009 and 2015, According to an article published by Bloomberg in June 2016.

People with diabetes who are not covered by insurance, have high deductibles, or are affected by the coverage gap, will benefit most from the lower price of insulin lispro. Humalog will still be available to those with insurance plans that cover it – which means most won’t be affected. Today, 95 percent of people who use Humalog pay less than $100 per month. This solution can help the 5 percent of people who still pay higher prices, including many people in Medicare Part D Coverage GapEli Lilly spokesperson Danny Barnheiser said.

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