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Insulin Supply and Affordability During COVID-19: Updates From Lilly

By Jimmy McDermott

Lilly does not expect any medication shortages during the coronavirus pandemic, and reminds people with diabetes about cost saving programs for insulin.  In the US, we appreciate Lilly’s public ads in the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and other major news outlets – this has gotten the reassuring message out to a broader group of people with diabetes

As we understand it, global supply chains for most diabetes medications are currently working as expected, and there is no cause for alarm on the supply front at this stage – though we understand that many people with diabetes feel displaced due to interruptions with their work and/or family. We are closely following news about diabetes therapy and technology supplies, and we are striving to keep readers updated. You can find all of our coronavirus updates and resources here.

Today, Eli Lilly announced additional updates on their medications during the coronavirus pandemic. The four announcements include:

  • Lilly is not expecting shortages in any of their medications, including insulin, GLP-1 agonists, SGLT-2 inhibitors, and “next-generation” emergency glucagon.

  • Lilly is monitoring the potential effects of COVID-19 on the supply of their medications. The company is keeping its insulin manufacturing sites in Europe and the US open, while increasing precautions to protect its workers and its medicine supply.

  • Lilly does not have any products on “backorder.” If your pharmacy does not have Lilly insulin in stock, ask your pharmacist to request an order from their wholesaler. This will generally be delivered in 1-2 business days. While there have been specific problems in some areas (like Seattle) recently, there should not be issues of demand moving forward.

  • Very importantly, as many people with diabetes are financially impacted by COVID-19 and lose jobs and/or insurance, Lilly reminds people of its cost saving options for insulin. If you have lost employment and use Lilly insulin, you can call the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center at 833-808-1234. This resource will help you learn about options for affording your insulin. If you are in urgent need for insulin, the Solution Center can provide immediate assistance. 

What insulins and diabetes medications does Lilly manufacture?

Insulins:

Other Medications (GLP-1 agonists, SGLT-2 inhibitors, DPP-4 inhibitors, emergency glucagon):

SGLT-2 inhibitors:

For more information on insulin affordability, please check our insulin affordability resource page.

For more updates on Lilly’s global COVID-19 response, click here. It is our understanding that none of the major insulin manufactures are experiencing supply chain issues and that more and more people, particularly in the US, will be displaced and have trouble accessing insulin due to job stoppages or insurance problems. In addition to the Lilly hotline, we encourage patients to access Sanofi’s ValYOU program and/or Novo Nordisk’s NovoCare program.

Another important resource for people with diabetes who are experiencing problems accessing medications and supplies is the Diabetes Disaster Resource Coalition (DDRC).

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