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Insulin Access Activism Succeeds in Pushing Eli Lilly Price Cut; Bigger Policy Response to Affordability Crisis Still Needed

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Eli Lilly announced it would reduce the prices of its most commonly prescribed insulins by 70% and cut the price of its insulin lispro authorized generic to $25 per vial. A recent study by Public Citizen and researchers at Harvard Medical School and the City University of New York’s Hunter College showed that 1.3 million Americans with diabetes ration their insulin due to cost. Last December, Public Citizen, T1International, and more than 50 organizations sent a letter asking Congress to mark World Diabetes Day by expanding access to insulin and lowering prices. Peter Maybarduk, director of the Access to Medicines program at Public Citizen, released the following statement:

“More than one million Americans ration their insulin each year to save money, forced to choose between health and rent.

“Eli Lilly’s overdue price cut is an acknowledgement that insulin prices are a deadly outrage, and is a direct result of #insulin4all activists raising their voices, organizing and fighting for their lives.

“The announced price reductions for Humalog, Humulin and its insulin lispro authorized generic will provide some relief to many patients – though not all – and also begin to ease the burden of high insulin prices on healthcare costs, for which everyone pays through taxes and insurance premiums.

“There’s much more to do. Novo Nordisk and Sanofi should follow suit with price reductions immediately.

“Meanwhile, our government must go far beyond guaranteeing $35 per month insulin on Medicare, to ensure that all insulin products are affordable for everyone who needs them, regardless of age, or insurance type or status.

“University researchers isolated insulin a century ago and gifted it to humanity. It is a grave injustice that anyone still struggles for access to insulin today.

“We are honored to support the work of T1International and the #insulin4all movement to make insulin affordable for the millions who need it to survive.”