Eli Lilly to donate 200,000 insulin pens to relief organizations
Eli Lilly and Co. will donate at least 200,000 KwikPens to three relief organizations to stock insulin at nearly 200 free clinics in the United States through 2022, according to an industry press release.
These donations — to the relief organizations Americares, Direct Relief and Dispensary of Hope — will directly support lower-income people living with diabetes who qualify for free clinic services, according to Lilly. Separately, Lilly is providing $2 million to fund grants that relief agencies will distribute to a wide range of eligible free clinics. The grants will fund
programs intended to help people with diabetes understand and access resources that can help them obtain medicine and supplies, medical care and insurance coverage.
“Dispensary of Hope is excited to expand the ongoing effort with Lilly’s insulin donation program,” Chris Palombo, CEO of Dispensary of Hope, said in the release. “Insulin saves lives, and the addition of donated Humalog and Basaglar KwikPens is important for the nation’s uninsured, low-income community.”
The insulin donations include KwikPens of insulin lispro injection 100 U/mL (Humalog), insulin lispro protamine and insulin lispro injectable suspension (Humalog Mix75/25), and insulin glargine injection 100 U/mL (Basaglar). Shipments to relief agencies have already started, according to Lilly.
The donation comes after a 2018 Lilly decision to donate insulin vials to stock approximately 150 U.S. free clinics. Since then, Lilly has donated 120,000 vials that have been used by people who qualify for free clinic services.
“This donation of KwikPens will help many people across the U.S. get the treatment they need,” Mike Mason, president, Lilly Diabetes, said in the release. “With the help of the relief agencies, Lilly insulin will now be available in many free clinics that are equipped to properly store it. These clinics help people find comprehensive care such as medicine, devices and physician support, and are very important to people who live with diabetes and use these services. We will continue to evaluate the needs of these communities and enhance our insulin donations as necessary.”
Earlier this month, Lilly also announced that it will offer “authorized generic” versions of two of its most popular insulins beginning in April, with list prices 50% lower than the company’s branded versions. As Healio reported, insulin lispro protamine and insulin lispro injectable suspension and insulin lispro injection 100 U/mL (Humalog Junior KwikPen) make up more than 90% of prescriptions written for a Lilly mealtime insulin, according to the company. These insulins are identical molecules to the branded versions and may be substituted at the pharmacy counter, according to Lilly. In a separate new release, Lilly said it will begin negotiations immediately with wholesalers and payers to make these additional lower-priced insulins available.
In September, Novo Nordisk also announced that it will offer authorized generic versions of its insulin aspart and insulin aspart mix beginning this month, with the follow-on brands priced 50% lower than the current list price of its branded versions of the drugs. In a company press release, Novo Nordisk stated that insulin aspart (NovoLog) and insulin aspart mix (NovoLog Mix), the company’s most widely prescribed insulins, will be available from the newly established Novo Nordisk affiliate Novo Nordisk Pharma Inc.
In April 2019, Sanofi introduced an expansion of its Insulins Valyou Savings Program that allows patients with diabetes to access Sanofi insulins for a flat rate of $99 per month, according to a press release from the company. The expanded savings program, which took effect in June, allows 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. – by Regina Schaffer
Disclosures: Mason is president of Lilly Diabetes. Palombo is CEO of Dispensary of Hope.