Sanofi to Slash Price of Lantus by 78%, Cap Out-of-Pocket Costs to $35
Editor’s Note: People who take insulin require consistently affordable and predictable sources of insulin at all times. If you or a loved one are struggling to afford or access insulin, you can find out which cost-saving tools you may qualify for through GetInsulin.org.
On Thursday, March 16, 2023, Sanofi announced that they will slash the list price of Lantus by 78% and Apidra by 70%, effective January 1, 2024. They will also cap the monthly out-of-pocket costs on Lantus to $35 for all people using commercial insurance.
These list price cuts support Sanofi’s existing patient assistance program (PAP) initiatives introduced in June 2022. Under Sanofi’s patient assistance program, a Lantus biosimilar costs 60% of the Lantus list price. The program also includes a $35 out-of-pocket cost cap for people without insurance.
In addition to the company’s PAP, these newly announced price caps will help ensure that no one using Sanofi insulin will pay more than $35 per month for their medication.
Beyond Type 1 has reached out to Sanofi to clarify what limits exist (if any) on the $35 out-of-pocket cap, monthly or annually.
Insulin affordability progress
Oliver Bogillot, head of U.S. general medicines for Sanofi, said, “Sanofi believes that no one should struggle to pay for their insulin” and that they are “pleased to see others join their efforts in transforming the U.S. insulin market.”
Over the past few weeks, all three major insulin manufacturers have voluntarily lowered their insulin list prices. These three manufacturers comprise over 90% of the insulin supplied to American patients. These changes come on the heels of years of patient advocacy nationwide and have been long overdue.
The cost of fast-acting insulin alone has skyrocketed nearly 1200% since its introduction to the market in 1996. These changes will bring much-needed relief to millions of Americans who require insulin to survive.
The bottom line
While these changes are welcome, American insulin prices are still higher than in other countries across the globe. In America’s mostly private healthcare system, having health insurance is still a prerequisite for affordable healthcare and prescription drugs.
Some people with diabetes are rightfully skeptical, acknowledging that manufacturers could reverse these changes at any point. Without a federal insulin price cap, there is no guarantee these list price cuts will be permanent.
The recent Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk announcements show that these price cuts are feasible. Beyond Type 1 is pleased to see progress in the insulin affordability movement and looks forward to more positive changes for the diabetes community in the future.