Mar 25, 2019

Eli Lilly says its insulin is getting cheaper

Humalog insulin by Eli Lilly. Photo: Niklas Halle'n/AFP/Getty Images

Eli Lilly says it's not making as much money off high-priced insulin as you might think, per the Wall Street Journal.

By the numbers: The list price for Humalog, Lilly's insulin, has risen 52% since 2014. It now stands at $594 per month.

  • But, in newly released figures, Lilly says most of that increase in list prices has been funneled into pharmacy benefit managers' rebates, not its own bottom line.
  • The net price for a month of Humalog — the price after accounting for rebates and discounts — has fallen slightly over the same period. It was $147 in 2014, and is now $135.

Yes, but: This will be cold comfort to the uninsured and people with high deductibles, for whom rising list prices matter a great deal, especially for a drug people depend on to stay alive.

Go deeper: The outrage over insulin prices

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