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April 07, 2020
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Lilly introduces $35 insulin copay card in response to COVID-19

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Eli Lilly announced on Tuesday it will introduce a $35 insulin copay card for anyone with commercial insurance and those without insurance in response to the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, according to an industry press release.

The program is effective today and covers most Lilly insulins, including all insulin lispro injection 100 U/mL (Humalog) formulations. Active copay cards have been reset to a $35 copay, and no action is needed from people who already have copay cards, according to Lilly. The copay cards are not available for people with government insurance, such as Medicaid, Medicare, Medicare Part D, Tricare, Medigap or any state patient or pharmaceutical assistance program.

“Too many people in the U.S. have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 crisis, and we want to make sure no one goes without their Lilly insulin,” Mike Mason, president of Lilly Diabetes, said in the release. “We’ve been providing affordability solutions for a long time, but more is needed to help people during this unprecedented period. People with commercial insurance, as well as those without insurance at all, are eligible, and the process is quick and simple. We want people who need help to call us.”

In a statement released Tuesday, JDRF said it welcomed the company’s decision to introduce a copay card for people with commercial insurance or no insurance, and said it would continue to urge insulin manufacturers, health plans, employers and policymakers to create long-term solutions that make out-of-pocket insulin costs “low and predictable.”

Eli Lilly announced on Tuesday it will introduce a $35 insulin copay card for anyone with commercial insurance and those without insurance in response to the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, according to an industry press release.
Source: Adobe Stock

“It’s critical that people with diabetes can reliably access insulin at a low, consistent out-of-pocket cost,” Aaron Kowalski, PhD, CEO of JDRF, and Thom Scher, CEO of Beyond Type 1, said in a press release. “Enabling a $35 per month insulin copay regardless of employment status will help many Americans in this difficult time.”

Due to federal guidelines, older adults with Medicare Part D plans are not eligible for a copay card, but they can call Lilly to discuss alternative options, such as donated insulin for people with lower incomes or insulin lispro injection (100 U/mL), a nonbranded version of Humalog U-100 with a 50% lower list price, introduced by Lilly in January.

“The Lilly Insulin Value Program is meant to help address the needs of people in this crisis, but we also remain committed to exploring additional solutions that provide meaningful impact for those living with diabetes beyond the current crisis,” Mason said.

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To obtain a savings card via email or U.S. mail, call the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center at 833-808-1234. The center is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

As Healio previously reported in March, the three U.S. manufacturers of insulin reported stable supplies of all diabetes medications as fears of drug shortages rise, although the companies are encouraging patients to prepare for an increase in demand and possible delays in filling prescriptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement released March 23, Lilly said the company is closely monitoring its supply chain for potential impact due to the novel coronavirus. Novo Nordisk said the company has “ample supplies of medicines, including insulin,” and expects to fulfill orders and replenish pharmacies in the U.S. throughout the pandemic. On its website, Sanofi stated that the company is working to maintain the supply of all medicines and vaccines through close collaboration with suppliers throughout the world. – by Regina Schaffer

Disclosures: Kowalski is CEO of JDRF. Mason is president of Lilly Diabetes. Scher is CEO of Beyond Type 1.