Novo Nordisk plans to cut prices for several insulins

N:ovo Nordisk will start cutting some US insulin prices by up to 75% next year, following rival Eli Lilly earlier this month.

The Danish drugmaker said on Tuesday that pre-filled pens and vials of long-acting and short-acting insulins will see price cuts. These include Levemir, Novolin, NovoLog and NovoLog Mix70/30.

Novo will also drop some off-brand products to match the lower cost of branded insulins.

The price reduction comes into effect from January 1.

Eli Lilly and Co. said March 2 that it will cut the list prices of its most commonly prescribed insulin, Humalog, and another insulin, Humulin, by 70% or more in the fourth quarter starting in October.

read more: Eli Lilly’s price cut is a game changer. But insulin isn’t the only high cost for people with diabetes

List prices are what the pharmacist initially sets for the product, and people without insurance or plans with high deductibles are sometimes stuck paying.

Patient advocates have long called for lower insulin prices to help uninsured people who would not be affected by price caps associated with insurance coverage. They noted that the high prices of insulin force many people to take doses, which can be dangerous for their health.

The federal government in January began imposing a $35 cap on monthly out-of-pocket costs for patients covered by Medicare for people age 65 and older or those with certain disabilities or illnesses.

Insulin is produced by the pancreas and used by the body to convert food into energy. People who have diabetes do not produce enough insulin.

People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day to survive. More than 8 million Americans use insulin, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Research has shown that insulin prices have more than tripled in the last two decades. Pressure is mounting on pharmacists to help patients.

It Wall Street Magazine: first reported the price cuts on Tuesday morning.

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