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An Eli Lilly insulin manufacturing facility in France. Photo: Frederick Florina/AFP/Getty Images
Eli Lilly’s decision to start selling a new version of its most popular fast-acting insulin highlights the industry’s concerns about possible legislation or regulation to rein in drug prices, Axios' Bob Herman writes.
Reality check: Some diabetic patients will benefit from Lilly's new authorized generic, called Lispro.
By the numbers: Humalog, which generated $3 billion of revenue for Lilly in 2018, has a list price of $275 per vial. Lispro’s list price will be half that.
Yes, but: A Lilly spokesperson confirmed that Lispro's price will be "comparable" to what Humalog costs after accounting for rebates and discounts.
We’ve seen this movie before.
The bottom line: Lilly's generic insulin will help people with diabetes who don't have insurance, or who face high deductibles and coinsurance rates.
Making people pay more of their health care bill out of pocket does not make them smarter shoppers, according to a new study published in Health Affairs, which corroborates earlier research.
The big picture: Part of the idea behind those ever-increasing insurance deductibles is that patients who have to put more of their own money on the line will become better consumers, comparison-shopping for the highest-quality, lowest-cost services.
What they're saying: In the Health Affairs survey of people with high-deductible plans …
Between the lines: People don't do these things because they don't even think of it, or assume it won't work. Or, to borrow some truly glorious academic-speak: "Perceptions of futility were common impediments to engagement."
Yes, but: There's some evidence that if patients try to avail themselves of comparison-shopping tools, they can achieve real savings, at least for MRIs and other imaging procedures.
Purdue Pharma is considering bankruptcy as it seeks to contain the damage from a raft of lawsuits over the way it marketed OxyContin, Reuters reported yesterday.
Why it matters: Purdue is facing lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions, including high-profile cases in Massachusetts and Oklahoma (the latter is set to go to trial soon).
The other side: "We will oppose any attempt to avoid our claims, and will continue to vigorously and aggressively pursue our claims against Purdue and the Sackler family," Connecticut Attorney General William Tong told Reuters.
Photo: Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Lyft
Bob noticed an interesting tidbit in Lyft’s IPO filing last week: The company acknowledged that it will have to brush up on health care privacy law as it expands into the industry.
How it works: Hospitals, clinics and other health care companies pay Lyft "platform" fees to help arrange rides for patients to their doctors' appointments.
The bottom line: Patient transport is an extra side business for Lyft and Uber, and providers don't mind covering those ride-sharing costs if it means they can bill insurance for the patient visits that otherwise would have been missed.
More than 440 rural nursing homes have closed or merged over the last 10 years, often forcing residents to relocate far from their homes and families, the New York Times reports.
Details: Some nursing homes can't find enough people to fill low-paying jobs, while others just aren't making enough to stay in the black.