Eli Lilly announces 2 new lower-priced insulin pens

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Company announced plans Tuesday to offer two of its insulin pens for half the cost of the branded versions.

The two pens will be lower-priced versions of Humalog Mix75/25 KwikPen (insulin lispro protamine and insulin lispro injectable suspension 100 units/mL) and Humalog Junior KwikPen (insulin lispro injection 100 units/mL).

Eli Lilly says the pens will be available by mid-April.

“Lilly is committed to offering the broadest suite of solutions for people who need help affording their insulin, and our lower-priced insulins are important options,” said Mike Mason, president, Lilly Diabetes. “But real change to our reimbursement system is needed. Insurance coverage should ensure no one with diabetes is forced to ration or skip doses for financial reasons.”

Lilly already has one cost-saving insulin pen on the market. In May 2019, Insulin Lispro Injection (100 units/mL) was made available at half the price of Humalog (insulin lispro injection 100 units/mL). Eli Lilly says 67,000 people filled prescriptions for the cheaper option in November 2019.

That one is already available from all major U.S. distributors, and the company says it will begin negotiations with wholesalers for the new pens.

“The cost of insulin at the pharmacy varies dramatically depending on a person’s insurance coverage,” said Mason. “These lower-priced insulins may reduce out-of-pocket costs, especially for people in the coverage gap of Medicare Part D, the uninsured or those with high-deductible insurance plans.”

Both of the new options will have a list price of $265.20 for a package of five KwikPens. The new pens are mainly targeted at those with high-deductible health insurance plans and seniors who hit the coverage gap in Medicare Part D plans. Other insulin users should talk to their pharmacist and doctor to see if this option will be better for them.

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