In response to increasing pressure over high drug prices, Denmark-based pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk has announced a reduction of up to 70% in the sticker prices of several insulin products, effective at the beginning of 2024.
According to a New York Times report, a vial of the company’s rapid-acting NovoLog will drop to $72 from $289. Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly also stated they would reduce the list prices of their most commonly prescribed insulin products by 70% in the fourth quarter of 2023. Novo Nordisk did not address any possible changes to out-of-pocket costs for diabetes patients.
Increased prices for insulin, essential for millions of diabetes patients, have long been a point of contention. As Reuters notes, more than 8 million of the 37 million US diabetes sufferers use insulin, according to the American Diabetes Association. However, as pharmacy benefit managers continue to obtain more significant rebates, the impact of manufacturers’ price cuts like these may be limited. In addition, Novo has little to lose by cutting prices since it will avoid paying substantial rebates to the US government Medicaid program starting in 2024.
US President Joe Biden commended Novo’s move and encouraged other manufacturers to follow suit, though the financial impact remains uncertain. Sanofi, another insulin manufacturer, declined to comment on whether it would limit out-of-pocket costs.