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Insulin Cartel Frays Further With Novo Nordisk Price Cut

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Novo Nordisk announced it would reduce the list price of some of the branded insulin products it manufactures by 65%-75%, and provide corresponding price decreases to its unbranded insulin products. Novo Nordisk’s announcement comes two weeks after Eli Lilly announced insulin price reductions.

The news comes on the heels of the introduction of the Insulin for All Act, capping insulin prices at $20 per vial, by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Representative Cori Bush (D-MO). 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:

“The insulin cartel appears to be fraying at last, as a direct result of #insulin4all activists raising their voices to organize and fight for their lives. Sanofi is the last holdout of the big three insulin makers, and must cut its prices immediately.

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

“The overdue price cuts from Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly are acknowledgements that insulin prices are a deadly outrage. The announced price reductions 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 yet more to do. 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. An important approach comes from Senator Sanders and Representative Cori Bush, to finally cap insulin prices at $20 per vial. Congress should pass the Insulin for All Act without delay.

“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.”