Insulin maker Eli Lilly introducing cheaper version

Insulin maker Eli Lilly introducing cheaper version

Insulin maker Eli Lilly introducing cheaper version

But today, the firm said it will soon stock a generic version in the U.S. for an eye-watering, but comparatively cheap, $137.35 a vial. "The company's decision to offer a generic version of a several decade old drug will be part of the investigation", said Wyden in a statement to Yahoo Finance.

She likes to point out that, at the time she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1996, Humalog had a list price of $21 a vial.

Lilly, a leading producer of insulin, is one of many firms that has been grilled by USA senators in the last week. "Millions of Americans with Medicare or employer coverage will continue to face Eli Lilly's exorbitant list price". Ron Wyden of OR vowed in a Monday tweet.

On Monday, Lilly was the first to suggest some sort of step in the right direction, which analysts described as a political win for the firm without surrendering much in the way of profits.

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For instance, Humalog vial in United Kingdom has a list price of roughly £16 a vial, and according to a survey conducted by diabetes advocacy group T1International, the average out-of-pocket cost of a 10 ml vial of Humalog is roughly $31 in Canada and $20 in Japan.

Eli Lilly and other drug companies have come under increased pressure from lawmakers and the public to reduce the cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. Lawmakers have specifically targeted the skyrocketing price of insulin.

"We've engaged in discussions about the price of insulin with many different stakeholders in America's health care system: people living with diabetes, caregivers, advocacy groups, health care professionals, payers, wholesalers, lawmakers, and leading health care scholars", said David A. Ricks, Lilly's chairman and chief executive officer.

"The substantial increase in the price of insulin has caused significant concern among patients and Congress", the senators said. And Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, also welcomed the news in a tweet, but said it was only one piece of a puzzle and that "more needs to be done".

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Lilly's discounted insulin will sell for a list price of $137.35 per vial or $265.20 for a five pack of Kwik Pens.

The cost of insulin for treating type 1 diabetes in the United States almost doubled over a five-year period, underscoring a national outcry over rising drug prices, Reuters reported in January. When a patient's body doesn't make enough insulin, they have to take it by injection or through a pump.

Lilly has in the past called insulin a highly-rebated product.

The US government in January proposed a rule to end the industry-wide system of rebates, a change that Lilly says it would welcome.

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