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2023-03-19| Special

Sanofi Slashes Insulin Prices by Up to 78% Following Hot On the Heels of Major Competitors

by Richard Chau
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Following in the footsteps of two major competitors in the insulin market, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, Sanofi earlier issued a press release announcing a 78% price reduction for Lantus (insulin glargine injection), the most widely prescribed long-acting insulin in the United States. 

Based on the decision taken last June of capping the monthly cost of Lantus for uninsured diabetics, the French pharma company will further apply a $35 cap to limit the out-of-pocket costs for Lantus for all patients with private insurance. 

In addition, Sanofi will also cut the list price of its short-acting Apidra (insulin glulisine injection) by 70%. All these moves, which will take effect on January 1, 2024, are expected to benefit patients with high deductibles.

Related article: Novo Nordisk Announces Major Insulin Price Cut by Up to 75%, Following in the Footsteps of Eli Lilly 

Big Pharma Under Heavy Fire for Overpriced Insulin

Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly have come under fire in recent years for overpricing their long-acting and fast-acting insulin products. It has been reported that these companies have increased insulin prices by more than 600% over the last two decades. President Biden once made a strong remark that “Insulin costs less than $10 to make, but Americans are sometimes forced to pay over $300 for it. It’s flat wrong.”

Several states have even filed lawsuits accusing these three major insulin manufacturers of unfair and deceptive practices that wrongfully inflate insulin prices. Amid pressure from the government, lawmakers and advocacy groups, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk announced earlier this month their plans to significantly reduce the prices of their prescription insulin and unbranded insulin products and capping deductibles for patients covered by commercial insurance at $35 per month.

President Biden Praised Top Insulin Producers for Price Reduction

Before the announcement of the price reduction, Sanofi already launched an unbranded biologic for Lantus at a list price 60% lower than that of Lantus in June 2022. However, according to Olivier Bogillot, Sanofi’s Head of U.S. General Medicines, the health system was unable to take advantage of the company’s low-price approach due to its inherent structural challenges. He believes that the latest move of slashing insulin prices can accelerate the transformation of the U.S. insulin market.

In response to the actions of the top three insulin manufacturers, President Biden issued a new statement, praising them for their commitment to follow his call to lower insulin prices.

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