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Sanofi has lowered the out-of-pocket cost for those without insurance of its insulins to $35 for a 30-day supply through the company’s savings program.
Sanofi is the latest pharmaceutical company to lower the price of insulin for those who are uninsured. Effective July 1, 2022, Sanofi has lowered the out-of-pocket cost of its insulins to $35 for a 30-day supply through the company’s Insulins Valyou Savings Program.
Previously, the program offered its insulins for $99. This includes Toujeo (insulin glargine), Lantus (insulin glargine), Admelog (insulin lispro), and Apidra (insulin glulisine). The program does not include Sanofi combination insulin product Soliqua (insulin glargine and lixisenatide). The program is open to anyone regardless of income.
Sanofi also recently launched Insulin Glargine Injection U-100 at a price that is 60% less than the current Lantus list price.
“Informed by patient feedback, Sanofi has updated our industry-leading assistance program to continue addressing access and affordability challenges for all people living with diabetes, regardless of insurance coverage,” Adam Gluck, head of U.S. and Global Specialty Care Corporate Affairs at Sanofi, said in a press release.
Other pharmaceutical companies lowering the cost of insulins include Lilly and Novo Nordisk.In September 2021, Lilly announced that it was lowering the list price of Insulin Lispro Injection in the U.S. by an additional 40 percent effective Jan. 1, 2022. Those using Lilly insulins can now fill their monthly prescription for $35 through the Lilly Insulin Value Program for people with commercial insurance or who are uninsured, and the Senior Savings Model for seniors in participating Medicare Part D plans.
Novo Nordisk also offers lower cost insulins, including a 30-day supply of a combination of Novo Nordisk insulin products (up to three vials or two packs of pens) for $99 for eligible patients. Additionally, Novo Nordisk human insulin is available at national pharmacies like Walmart and CVS for about $25 per vial.
In additional to the lowering out-of-pocket costs for insulin, Sanofi offers co-pay assistance programs, regardless of income or insurance plan design, which limits out-of-pocket expenses for a majority of people between $0 and $10. Sanofi is also a part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Senior Savings Model, which allows patients enrolled in participating Part D plans to pay a $35 or less co-pay for each 30-day prescription of a Sanofi insulin throughout the year.
A $35 cap on insulin is popular. About 87% of voters surveyed by think tank Data for Progress support the idea.
Out-of-pocket prices for insulin continue to be high and are rising. The average cash price for insulins climbed about 54% from 2014 to 2019 from $0.22 to $0.34 per insulin unit, according to GoodRx. Since then, it dropped 5% from about $0.33 to $0.31. An insulin unit is a measure used for dosing. For example, a concentration of U-100 has 100 insulin units per milliliter.
Most of this decline is a result of recent approvals of generics and biosimilars. But not all insulins saw decreases, according to GoodRx’s January 2022 report on insulins. The organization tracked 28 insulins across all manufacturers and insulin types. A package of five generic insulin lispro KwikPens, for example, still costs about $300, compared with the $700 price for a similar package of Humalog KwikPens.
Congressional efforts continue to aim to address these high costs. Most recently, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), co-chairs of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, announced new bipartisan legislation, the Improving Needed Safeguards for Users of Lifesaving Insulin Now (INSULIN) Act.
This proposed legislation builds on their previous efforts and would make insulins eligible for cost-sharing protections, including a waiver of any applicable deductible and limiting copays or coinsurance to no more than $35 per month or 25% of list price. It would ensure that insurance plans and PBMs cannot collect rebates on insulins that limit list price to the 2021 net prices for Medicare Part D or equivalent levels.