Drugmaker to Cap Insulin at $35 a Month

March 1, 2023

Drugmaker Eli Lilly said Wednesday it would cap the out-of-pocket cost of insulin at $35 per month, a move that’s expected to bring economic relief to millions of Americans.

The price cap applies to all of Eli Lilly’s insulin products, according to company spokesperson Kelly Smith. 

In a press release, Eli Lilly CEO David A. Ricks noted, “While the current healthcare system provides access to insulin for most people with diabetes, it still does not provide affordable insulin for everyone and that needs to change.”

He added, “Because these price cuts will take time for the insurance and pharmacy system to implement, we are taking the additional step to immediately cap out-of-pocket costs for patients who use Lilly insulin and are not covered by the recent Medicare Part D cap.”

The move could potentially pressure other drugmakers to cap their insulin costs as well. It comes after last year’s Inflation Reduction Act had capped the cost at $35 for Medicare recipients. Democrats were also hoping to include a universal price cap in the legislation but the Senate Parliamentarian ruled it could not be voted on through reconciliation, and 43 Republicans voted against a universal insulin price cap.

In his State of the Union address this month, President Biden touted the Inflation Reduction Act’s cap for Medicare recipients, adding, “Let’s finish the job this time, let’s cap the cost of insulin at $35. Folks, Big Pharma is still going to do very well, I promise you all.”

On Twitter Wednesday, Biden praised the insulin price cap by Eli Lily, saying the company was “heeding my call. Others should follow.”

Currently just three companies produce the vast majority of insulin in the U.S.: Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi.

Eli Lilly’s insulin price cap automatically applies to people with private insurance. People without insurance will be eligible as long as they sign up for Eli Lilly’s copay assistance program.

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