April 16, 2020
2 min read
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Lilly's half-price, generic insulins now available

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“Authorized generic” versions of two of Eli Lilly's most popular insulins are now available for order by U.S. pharmacies, with list prices 50% lower than the companys branded versions, according to an industry press release.

Insulin lispro protamine and insulin lispro injectable suspension (Humalog Mix 75/25 KwikPen) 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. As Healio previously reported, Lilly announced in January that it would offer the additional authorized generic insulins as part of a broader effort to lower out-of-pocket costs for people with diabetes.

"Out-of-pocket costs for insulin vary significantly depending on a persons insurance coverage design,” Mike Mason, president of Lilly Diabetes, said in the release. “Its important that we fill gaps in the health care system, including for people who use Medicare Part D and are unable to use the savings cards in our program.”

Lilly also continues to offer Insulin Lispro Injection (100 /mL), the nonbranded version of Humalog U-100, at a 50% lower list price of $137.35 per vial and $265.20 for a package of five KwikPens. Insulin Lispro Injection was made available in May 2019. In March, more than 128,000 prescriptions were filled for Insulin Lispro Injection, according to Lilly. All of Lillys nonbranded insulins are distributed by all major U.S. wholesalers and can be ordered by any pharmacy.

The nonbranded version of Humalog Mix75/25 will be known as Insulin Lispro Protamine and Insulin Lispro Injectable Suspension Mix75/25 KwikPen (100 /mL). The nonbranded version of Humalog Junior KwikPen will be known as Insulin Lispro Injection Junior KwikPen (100 /mL).

On April 7, Lilly introduced a $35 insulin copay card for anyone with commercial insurance and those without insurance in response to the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. As Healio reported, the program 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.

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Disclosure: Mason is president of Lilly Diabetes.