Eli Lilly Caps Insulin Costs at $35 per month

Hexie Dimmett, Copy Editor

The American pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly, has reduced the cost of their insulin, making the average out-of-pocket cost for Lilly insulin $35 with commercial insurance. The company also offers a savings option to those with insurances that do not cover Lilly insulin or those without insurance at all.

 The pharmaceutical company said that this was done to ease the disparities in affordable healthcare access for those with diabetes. However, Eli Lilly has acknowledged that most Americans with diabetes don’t use Lilly insulin, and has called for wider changes in policy to make healthcare accessible. 

“We are calling on policymakers, employers, and others to join us in making insulin more affordable,” said Lilly’s Chair and CEO, David A. Ricks.  

President Biden echoed a similar sentiment in a tweet on March 1, referencing the previous Medicare insulin price cap that Lilly had also participated in, and congratulating the company for its actions.

These actions by Eli Lilly have brought the cost of insulin back down to its previous 1999 price. The price of insulin spiked in 2010 at $110 per vial due to the Affordable Care Act, wherein negotiations between Congress and pharmaceutical companies reached the conclusion that Medicare would have to accept the cost that the companies set without bid. Prices skyrocketed further, reaching $217 per vial in 2017. 

Despite the newfound drop in price, the current state of insulin accessibility is a far cry from how its discoverers intended. Sir Fredrick G. Banting, one of the team of researchers that refined and administered the first ever successful insulin injection, said that “Insulin does not belong to me, it belongs to the world.” He and his fellow researchers sold the patent for insulin and its production method to the University of Toronto for a dollar each, obviously intending for fair and equitable access. After all, insulin was the solution to the previous death sentence of diabetes. 

Those without insurance are urged to visit http://insulinaffordability.com/ and download the Lilly Insulin Value Program savings card in order to start receiving Lilly insulin for $35 a month.