Patient-led activism is working. Today Eli Lilly announced that in response to criticism of high prices, the company will sell a version of Humalog insulin for half price. We are pleased to see this result after relentless efforts by non-pharma funded patient advocates to ensure the list price of insulin goes down.
While $137.35 is an improvement, it's still an unaffordable price for so many, considering most people need at least 2 vials each month. Humalog increased 585% between 2001 and 2015 and we have no guarantee that this "half-price" insulin won't double again in the near future. An estimate for the cost to produce a vial of analogue insulin is about $6 at most, which means Eli Lilly and the other insulin manufacturers could make this life saving drug even more affordable while still making enormous profits. Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi can and should be offering genuinely affordable prices to all who need insulin to survive.
T1International and those in the #insulin4all movement will remain vigilant. This is certainly only the beginning, and a small step towards the change needed in pricing for people with type 1 diabetes. This does not get Eli Lilly off the hook for their price-gouging and it shows us that they have the power to set a price that is truly affordable at any time.
Make no mistake - by Eli Lilly’s own admission the company is only reacting to outside pressure. We must still fight for transparency legislation and ultimately price controls to ensure that prices go down and stay down. That is what T1International and patient advocates across the USA will continue to fight for.