Drugmaker Novo Nordisk to slash some insulin prices by 75%

Novo Nordisk, a Danish drugmaker, announced it will cut some insulin prices in the United States up to 75% next year, amid pressure from competitors and lawmakers.

The drugmaker will lower the list price of multiple insulin brands, including NovoLog and NovoLog Mix 70/30, by 75% of the list price. It will lower the list price of Novolin and Levemir by 65%, Novo Nordisk confirmed Tuesday.

A list price is a price a drugmaker first sets for a product. People with no insurance or people with some health insurance plans sometimes pay the entire fee.

Novo Norodisk’s price cuts will go into effect on Jan. 1. A vial of NovoLog and NovoLog Mix 70/30 will drop to $72.34 from $289.36. And FlexPen options will drop to $139.71 from over $500.

The company on Tuesday also said it will lower the list prices of unbranded products to match the lower prices of branded insulins for patients. Novo Nordisk is one of the biggest sellers of insulin in the U.S. and around the world, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the price cuts.

"We have been working to develop a sustainable path forward that balances patient affordability, market dynamics, and evolving policy changes," Steve Albers, senior vice president of market access and public affairs, said in a statement.

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Following in wake of Eli Lilly

The move comes weeks after Eli Lilly and Co. said it will cut the prices of its most commonly prescribed insulins up to 70%, in addition to expanding a program that limits out-of-pocket costs for some customers.

The cuts also come amid pressure from lawmakers and patient advocates to reduce the price of insulin, which is lifesaving medicine for people with diabetes. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., introduced legislation earlier this month that would limit the list price of insulin to $20 per vial.

President Joe Biden during his State of the Union address last month, renewed calls to limit insulin costs, telling Congress “Let’s cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month for every American who needs it.”

The federal Inflation Reduction Act caps insulin costs at $35 a month for Medicare enrollees on Part D plans.

Some insulin prices have more than tripled in the last two decades. About 37.3 million people in the U.S. have diabetes – over 11% of the country’s population – though not all people with diabetes take insulin.

Contributing: Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY; Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Novo nordisk insulin: Drugmaker to cut some prices by 75% in 2024