Insulin Price Cap of $35 Takes Hold

2 min read

Jan. 4, 2024 -- The price of insulin was capped this week by the last of the major three suppliers, meaning more Americans are now paying no more than $35 for the diabetes treatment.

Sanofi cut the price of Lantus by 78% and short-acting Apidra by 70%, effective January 1.

The other two insulin manufacturers, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, already had cut prices by as much as 75% and 70%, respectively, USA Today reported.

This means that the cost of the drug for most patients had been limited to $35 through price caps and savings programs.

Sanofi, based in France, says most people with private insurance weren’t paying more than $15 due to a copay assistance program, USA Today reported. Sanofi also offers a 30-day supply for $35 to people who don’t have insurance.

“Analysts, politicians and patient advocates have increasingly criticized drug manufacturers for the prices set for insulin,” the newspaper wrote. “In recent years, federal and state laws, Medicare and Medicaid policies, and changing market dynamics for these older insulin drugs have influenced price cuts.”

According to the American Diabetes Association, the amount of money spent on insulin has tripled over the last 10 years – from $8 billion in 2012 to $22.3 billion 2022 -- with prices rising 24% between 2017 and 2022.

About 8.4 million Americans need insulin to survive; up to 1 in 4 have been unable to afford it and have rationed their doses, which can be fatal, the association says.

As CNN reported, Congress, the White House, and others have pressured drug makers to lower their prices on insulin, which is relatively cheap to produce. Eli Lilly and Sanofi announced they would cap their prices at $35 after President Joe Biden called on drugmakers to do so last year.

Medicare enrollees now pay no more than $35 due to Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.