Stacie Dusetzina, a professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said the changes would be helpful for diabetes patients who are uninsured or underinsured. But she noted that insurers already pay less than the sticker price for the insulin products because of a variety of discounts and rebates.
Lilly’s announcement follows years of mounting criticism from Americans who have said insulin should be more accessible and easier to afford. The criticism led to lawsuits and legislation.
Eli Lilly’s move to limit out-of-pocket costs expands on a change that went in to effect at the start of this year for patients on Medicare. Under last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, Congress imposed a $35 a month ceiling on insulin co-payments for Medicare patients.
Lilly said it planned in the last three months of this year to reduce the list price of its most commonly used insulin, Humalog, as well as another insulin product, Humulin, by 70 percent. Lilly said that its newer Tempo Pen version of its Humalog product, which comes as a prefilled insulin pen, would not be discounted.