French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, one of the top three insulin manufacturers for the U.S., announced on Thursday it would be cutting the list price for its most prescribed insulin product Lantus by 78 percent, joining fellow major insulin manufacturers in drastically minimizing the prices of some of their insulin products.
Along with cutting down the price of Lantus, a long-acting injection insulin, the company said it would be reducing the cost of its fast-acting insulin product Apidra by 70 percent.
Sanofi announced it would also be enacting a $35 cap on out-of-pocket costs for Lantus for patients with commercial insurance coverage as well as capping costs for uninsured patients through its various savings programs.
“Sanofi believes that no one should struggle to pay for their insulin and we are proud of our continued actions to improve access and affordability for millions of patients for many years,” Sanofi’s head of U.S. General Medicines Olivier Bogillot said in a statement.
“We launched our unbranded biologic for Lantus at 60 percent less than the Lantus list price in June 2022 but, despite this pioneering low-price approach, the health system was unable to take advantage of it due to its inherent structural challenges,” Bogillot continued. “We are pleased to see others join our efforts to help patients as we now accelerate the transformation of the U.S. insulin market.”
These price cuts will go into effect beginning on Jan. 1, 2024.
This action comes on the tails of fellow insulin manufacturers Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, which announced similar moves to reduce the prices of some of their commonly used insulin products. The three manufacturers control the vast majority of the global insulin market.
Eli Lilly was the first of the companies to announce its price cuts, calling on other companies to do the same. Novo Nordisk followed soon after, announcing earlier this week that it would reduce the prices of four of its “legacy products” by 65 to 75 percent.
The Biden administration has called for $35 price caps on insulin since a cap was included in the Inflation Reduction Act for Medicare beneficiaries. The administration has pushed for this measure to be expanded to all patients since the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act.
In his budget proposal released last week, President Biden included a provision that would cap the cost of a monthly insulin prescription at $35 across the commercial market.
The White House and Democrats in Congress have lauded the decisions from the medical manufacturers, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) crediting public pressure for these deep cuts in insulin prices.