Lilly introduces cheaper generic insulin in the US

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Mason said he does anticipate the authorized generic having a negative impact on the company's overall net revenue.

In a news release Monday, Eli Lilly Chairman and CEO David Ricks said, "We've engaged in discussion about the price of insulin with many different stakeholders in America's health care system: people living with diabetes, caregivers, advocacy groups, health care professionals, payers, wholesalers, lawmakers, and leading health care scholars". But those initial prices can still hurt patients without coverage or those who must first pay high deductibles before their coverage starts.

In 2012, Marston lost her job and found herself paying the full list price for Humalog, a life-saving medication used by people with diabetes to help process sugar found in the blood.

Humalog brought in $1.8 billion in US sales previous year for Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co.

He added in a separate statement that Lilly pays significant rebates from its list price, but those discounts do not directly benefit all patients. A company spokeswoman said the average person uses about two vials a month, and the pack of pens can last a month or more. They say that undercuts Big Pharma's typical defense that higher prices are needed to recoup money spent on costly research and development.

"We're eager to bring forward a low-cost, rapid-acting insulin", said Eli Lilly Chairman and CEO David A. Ricks.

The announcement comes amid rising demand for pharmaceutical companies in the USA to lower prescription medication prices.

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"Clearly, the insulin cartel is feeling pressure after years of price gouging a lifesaving drug".

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the committee's ranking member, was less enthusiastic, saying, "Regardless of the headlines and PR acrobatics, the Finance Committee is continuing to investigate how major insulin manufacturers set and increase the outrageous price of insulin, in addition to other business decisions related to the price of insulin".

When asked why Lilly didn't simply cut the price of Humalog in half instead of introduce the authorized generic, Mason said that would be a more challenging proposition given how the healthcare system operates today.

Insulin Lispro will sell for $137.35 for a single vial.

That conversation produced some surprising consensus on steps that may be taken to lower the crushing weight of drug costs borne by American consumers-alongside the usual finger-pointing to other players in the health care industry over who's to blame.

Shares of Lily fell about 2 percent to $126.18 Monday in midday trading while broader indexes were down slightly.

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