Sanofi announces insulin price cap of $35 per month to pay

Sanofi will cap the cost of its most popular insulin, Lantus, at $35 per month for people with private insurance, the French drugmaker announced Thursday. The change will take effect on January 1, 2024.

Sanofi is the latest of the three major insulin makers in the United States to cut or cap the price of the drug.

Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk announced changes to their insulin pricing this month. Together, the three drugmakers account for approximately 90% of the insulin market in the United States.

“It seemed like only a matter of time” before Sanofi made changes as well, said Stacie Dusetzina, professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. “You don’t want to be a star.”

In the United States, about 8.4 million people with diabetes are insulin dependent, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Sanofi already offers a monthly cap of $35 for people without insurance.

In addition to the price limit for people with private insurance, Sanofi will also lower the list price of Lantus by 78% and its short-acting insulin Apidra by 70%. These measures will benefit people with high deductibles.

“It’s a big deal,” said Larry Levitt, executive vice president of health policy at KFF, formerly known as Kaiser Family Foundation. “This is a combination of market forces, government Medicaid reimbursement policies, and public pressure.”

Dusetzina agreed that a new Medicaid reimbursement policy is a driving force behind the cuts. From 2024, the rule will penalize drugmakers who raise the price of their drugs faster than the rate of inflation.

Insulin makers in the United States have come under pressure from lawmakers and advocacy groups to lower the price of the drug, which is much more expensive in the United States than in other countries. The pressure only intensified after the passage of the Cut Inflation Act, which capped the monthly cost of insulin at $35 for seniors on Medicare.

Earlier Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., sent a letter to the CEO of Sanofi, urging the executive to cut the cost of the company’s insulin, following cuts prices from Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk.

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