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Novo Nordisk will lower the U.S. list price of some of its insulin products by up to 75%, the Danish drugmaker has announced. said Tuesday.
The change – which will take effect on January 1, 2024 – follows a similar move by Eli Lilly, who said this month that it will reduce the list price of several of its products, including Humalog, by 70% later this year.
But Eli Lilly also went a step further by immediately capping the cost of all of its insulin products at $35 per month.
President Joe Biden praised Eli Lilly at the time, calling on other insulin makers to follow suit.
Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, along with French drugmaker Sanofi, make up more than 90% of the insulin market in the USA.
Following Eli Lilly’s announcement, experts predicted that other insulin makers would also make changes.
“Novo Nordisk is following the leader here, after Eli Lilly dramatically cut prices for insulin products,” said Larry Levitt, executive vice president of health policy at KFF, formerly known as Kaiser Family Foundation.
Stacie Dusetzina, professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, said the company also faces stiff competition for these drugs.
“They have little to lose by making this change,” she said.
Novo Nordisk said on Tuesday that its popular NovoLog and NovoLog Mix 70/30 fast-acting insulins will cost $72.34 for a single bottle and $139.71 for a pen, a price drop of 75%.
The price of Levemir, a long-acting insulin, will be reduced by 65% to $107.85 per vial and $161.77 per pen, the company said. Novolin will see a similar price reduction, to $48.20 per vial and $91.09 per pen.
Most consumers do not end up paying the full list price for a drug; the out-of-pocket they pay at the pharmacy will depend on their insurance. Elderly people benefiting from health insurance pay no more than $35 per month out of pocket, thanks to a provision of the Inflation Reduction Act which came into force on 1 January.
Levitt said Novo Nordisk’s decision will likely bring the most relief to those who are uninsured or have high deductibles.
Novo Nordisk will continue to offer programs to make insulin more affordable.
“Novo Nordisk remains committed to ensuring patients with diabetes can afford our insulins, a responsibility we take seriously,” said Steve Albers, the company’s senior vice president of market access and public affairs, in a press release.
Insulin costs in the United States are upper compared to other countries. According to the Rand Corporation, a public policy think tank, in 2018 the average list price for a vial of insulin in the United States was $98.70.
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