Novo Nordisk and Sanofi Announce Plans to Cut Insulin Prices
By Susannah ChenAndrew Briskin
Following Eli Lilly’s recent announcement of a $35 monthly limit on out-of pocket costs, Sanofi announced a $35 cost cap on Lantus, and Novo Nordisk pledged to reduce the prices of several of its insulin varieties by as much as 75%. Both companies’ cuts will take effect next year.
Following Lilly’s plans to slash insulin prices and cap insulin costs at $35 per month, Novo Nordisk announced on March 14 that it plans to reduce prices of several of its insulins by up to 75% starting Jan. 1, 2024.
Two days later, Sanofi announced a $35 monthly cap on the cost of Lantus, its most popular insulin, for people on private insurance, also starting Jan. 1, 2024. With this latest update, all three major insulin manufacturers in the United States have announced significant price cuts this month.
The announcements from Novo Nordisk, Sanofi and Eli Lilly have been seen as critical steps to improving insulin access and affordability, especially for those with limited insurance who have faced the most significant burden of rising out-of-pocket costs.
Novo Nordisk Insulin Price Cuts
Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, Novo Nordisk will cut the U.S. list prices of several of its insulin products; prices for NovoLog and NovoLog Mix 70/30 will be cut by 75%, and Novolin and Levemir by 65%. These price reductions will apply to vials and the company’s pre-filled FlexPens.
Once the price cut takes effect, NovoLog and Novolog Mix 70/30 will be listed at $72.34 per vial, and $139.71 per FlexPen, down from $289 and $558, respectively. Levemir will be listed at $107.85 per vial ($161.77 per FlexPen), and Novolin at $48.20 per vial and $91.09 per FlexPen.
Additionally, the company said it would reduce the U.S. list price of its generics—unbranded but biologically equivalent insulin products—to match the lowered price of respective brand-name insulin products.
Novo Nordisk offers generic products such as insulin aspart (Novolog) and insulin aspart protamine/insulin aspart (Novolog Mix 70/30). The company currently offers these products at 50% of the list price of the branded products. In 2024, these unbranded insulins will continue to be priced at 50% of the new and reduced list price of the branded insulin.
Novo Nordisk’s other existing cost-saving programs, such as its patient assistance program and My$99Insulin cash card, will continue to be available to people with diabetes in the US. The company will also continue to offer insulin degludec (unbranded Tresiba) at 65% off the list price of Tresiba, though Tresiba is not affected by the decreased prices starting in 2024.
Sanofi Insulin Price Cuts
Starting Jan. 1, 2024, Sanofi will limit the out-of-pocket for Lantus at $35 a month for people on private insurance. Additionally, the company plans to lower the list price of Lantus (insulin glargine) by 78% and Apidra (rapid-acting insulin) by 70%. The current list price for Lantus is $292 per vial and for Apidra, about $309 per vial; these prices would be reduced to $64 and $93, respectively.
Sanofi currently offers a savings program that caps costs at $35 per month for people without insurance. The company also offers insulin glargine at a 60% reduced price compared to Lantus. These new changes will make an especially big difference for those with a high deductible insurance plan.
Although the cost of insulin varies significantly depending on insurance coverage, people who are uninsured or underinsured have faced staggering increases in list prices and out-of-pocket costs in recent years. A study published in 2022 demonstrated that nearly 1 in 5 people with type 1 diabetes and nearly 1 in 6 with type 2 who used insulin had to ration, skip doses, or delay buying their medication due to cost.