Eli Lilly and Company’s pharmaceutical manufacturing plant is pictured in Branchburg, New Jersey, March 5, 2021.
Mike Cigar | Reuters
Uninsured Americans pay an average of nearly $98 for a bottle Eli Lillygeneric insulin, even after the company pledged to lower the product’s list price to $25 per vial, according to a report released Thursday by the senator. Elizabeth Warren.
Eli Lilly pledged earlier this year to lower the list price of the generic insulin, Lispro, from $82.42 per vial starting May 1. The Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company is one of the largest insulin manufacturers in the world.
The Massachusetts senator’s report surveyed more than 300 pharmacy chains and independents in the United States between June 9 and 28 to determine whether the price reduction announced by Eli Lilly “translated into real patient relief.”
The survey found that a third of pharmacies charge uninsured patients $164 or more for a bottle of Eli Lilly’s Lispro.
Seven pharmacies charged $200 per bottle or more, and two sold the product for more than $300.
Chain pharmacies charged uninsured customers an average of $123 per vial for generic insulin, compared to an average of $63 at independent pharmacies.
Eli Lilly did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the poll.
The study findings indicate that “Eli Lilly’s promises of affordable insulin have not been delivered to uninsured patients across the country,” Warren said in a statement.
She said the data also shows that Congress needs to take more steps to rein in excessive pricing, such as capping insulin fees at $35 per month for all patients, regardless of their insurance status.
President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act currently sets co-insulin amounts at $35 per month for people covered by Medicare.
“My new report confirms that far too many uninsured Americans do not have access or cannot afford to pay astronomical prices for life-saving universal insulin — lawmakers need to step up and take action,” Warren said in a press release.
senator. Elizabeth Warren, MD, speaks during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., June 13, 2023.
Michael A McCoy | Getty Images
Insured Americans usually pay a fraction of the list price of insulin. But uninsured people often have to pay the full cost, which could force them to ration or stop taking a life-saving diabetes treatment.
Nearly 30% of uninsured diabetics reported skipping insulin doses, taking less than prescribed or delaying purchases within the past year, Warren said, citing a 2022 study conducted by researchers from Harvard University and other institutions.
“No American should ever be forced to choose between life-saving medications, such as insulin, and their ability to pay for food, shelter, and their daily needs,” Warren said.
Earlier this year, Eli Lilly, Sanofi And Novo Nordisk is committed to reducing the list prices of the most commonly prescribed types of insulin by at least 70% later in 2023.
Eli Lilly and Sanofi also set monthly insulin costs at $35 for people with private insurance.
The three companies together control 90% of the global insulin market.
Their commitments were met with praise from lawmakers and Biden, who was pleased that the companies were finally heeding the calls to help make diabetes care more affordable in the United States.
But the Warren poll raises questions about the effectiveness of cost-cutting efforts.
About 37 million people in the United States, or 11.3% of the country’s population, have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The American Diabetes Association said nearly 8.4 million people with diabetes are insulin dependent.