‘This is life-saving’: Eli Lilly announces $35 out-of-pocket cap on insulin

This move affects more than 10% of adults in the Commonwealth.
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 7:15 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - On Wednesday, Eli Lilly, one of three major insulin manufacturers, announced they are capping the out-of-pocket cost to $35.

This move affects more than 10% of adults in the Commonwealth.

“It’s huge, and it’s life-changing. It takes so much pressure off of people,” said Sarah Ferguson, an advocate for inexpensive insulin. “This move affects so many people. A lot of young people living with diabetes have been so worried about having insurance, and asking what am I going to do? How am I going to pay for this? Something like this means, that’s not hanging over their heads.”

Research from the Kentucky Diabetes Network says the Commonwealth has the fourth highest mortality rate in the United States. They add that the highest death rates are in Eastern Kentucky.

Lawmakers have introduced bills, like SB-23, HB-95 and HB-41 focused on making insulin more accessible and affordable.

Ferguson said her daughter needs three vials each month to keep her alive. Some people living with diabetes cannot afford the insulin they need to survive.

Due to the price of each vial of insulin, some people ration their supplies which doctors advise not to do because it can lead to more health complications.

“The list goes on and on from how many body systems are affected by uncontrolled diabetes,” said Dr. Brad Thrasher, Norton Children’s Health. “Kidney disease leading to kidney failure. Patients, who are going need dialysis. Heart and vision problems can happen. Patients can have complications with nerve problems.”

Since the 1990s, the cost of insulin increased by more than a thousand percent. This move by Eli Lilly is effective immediately. People with health insurance will be see the change at the majority of retail pharmacies. Those who are uninsured can download the savings card to use.

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