Sanofi expands savings plan to offer $99 monthly insulin
Sanofi on Wednesday introduced an expansion of its Insulins Valyou Savings Program that will allow patients with diabetes to access Sanofi insulins for a flat rate of $99 per month, according to a press release from the company.
Starting in June, the savings program will allow people with diabetes in United States to purchase up to 10 boxes of pens or 10-mL vials per month for $99 total with a valid prescription. Sanofi launched the savings program in April 2018, at the time enabling those who pay cash to pay set prices of $99 for one 10-mL vial or $149 for one box of insulin pens.
“It is unacceptable to Sanofi that some people living with diabetes are struggling to pay for their insulin, so we have moved to act creatively and aggressively to help address affordability and access needs,” Michelle Carnahan, head of North America primary care at Sanofi, said in the release. “By giving those who require both long-acting and/or mealtime insulins or use more than one box of pens or one vial per month access to their insulins for one flat price, we aim to help limit the burden on the individuals who have high out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy counter.”
People facing high out-of-pocket prices at the pharmacy counter can participate in the Insulins Valyou Savings Program regardless of income level. This includes those who are paying high retail prices for their insulin and those who don’t qualify for other patient assistance programs.
In the release, Sanofi noted that, under current government regulations, pharmaceutical companies cannot offer this type of program to patients insured under Medicare, Medicaid, or similar federal or state programs.
The savings plan expansion follows a similar announcement from Cigna and Express Scripts earlier this month. On April 3, the two companies announced a plan to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs at $25 for a 30-day supply for eligible plan members with diabetes, according to a press release from the companies. As reported by Endocrine Today, the Patient Assurance Program will be available to members in participating non-government funded pharmacy plans managed by Express Scripts, including Cigna and many other health plans, with out-of-pocket costs for insulin greater than $25. In most cases, people who use insulin will see lower out-of-pocket costs without any increased cost to the plan, according to a press release from the companies. Cigna and Express Scripts clients will activate this new program for participating plans by moving covered insulin products to a lower copayment.
Stakeholders in the insulin supply chain —including manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers and payers — are scheduled to appear before U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy & Commerce’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee today to offer testimony and answer questions about the rising price of insulin, which has tripled in price over the last decade. The hearing is part of a larger effort to examine the high costs of prescription drugs and the second part of a hearing specifically devoted to insulin prices. On April 2, physicians and patient advocates appeared before the committee and spoke of patients with diabetes who are often forced to ration or forego their insulin, which can have a list price of several hundred dollars before applying copays or patient assistance programs. – by Regina Schaffer
Disclosures: Carnahan is head of North America primary care at Sanofi.