Congressional Action Still Needed on Prescription Affordability Despite Eli Lilly’s Efforts to Pat Itself on the Back

Mar. 4, 2019

Congressional Action Still Needed on Prescription Affordability Despite Eli Lilly’s Efforts to Pat Itself on the Back

Statement of Peter Maybarduk, Director, Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program

Note: Today Eli Lilly & Company announced that it will launch an authorized generic version of its insulin product Humalog, in response to concerns about patient access to insulin. The authorized generic will sell at a lower price, but Lilly will continue to sell Humalog at full price and maintain its contracts and rebate arrangements with Humalog purchasers.

A more effective way to reduce price is to reduce price.

Instead Lilly’s convoluted plan is to sell identical insulins, one priced double the other. The move, confirms again, that pharma still cannot be trusted to fix itself.

University researchers isolated insulin a century ago and gifted it to humanity. It is outrageous that insulin is not affordably available to all today. Big Pharma, insurers and benefit managers are profiteering and our government is not doing enough to stop it.

The new authorized generic price tag is still a gross abuse of patients. If the price of Humalog increased with the level of inflation since its launch, it would be $32 per vial today.

Our Congress must act. The Stop Price Gouging Act, introduced by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), would end abusive price spikes on insulin, adrenaline (EpiPen), naloxone and other long-known medicines still out of reach due to corporate greed.

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