Lilly to sell cheaper version of top-selling insulin Humalog

Lilly & Co. corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. Shares of Eli Lilly slipped in early trading Wednesday Feb. 6 2019 after the drugmaker announced fourth-quarter earnings that missed Wall Street exp

Lilly & Co. corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. Shares of Eli Lilly slipped in early trading Wednesday Feb. 6 2019 after the drugmaker announced fourth-quarter earnings that missed Wall Street exp

Drug maker Eli Lilly announced Monday it will be offering a half-priced generic version of its brand-name insulin, Humalog, providing relief at the pharmaceutical counter for diabetic patients. "Until then, it's just more hot air in D.C".

In fact, the drug called Insulin Lispro will be identical to Humalog except for its packaging and its price-it will cost $137.50 per vial, or 50% less than Humalog, reports the New York Times. The first "Pharma Fleece Award" was given to Eli Lilly - along with Novo Nordisk and Sanofi - the three pharmaceutical companies that manufacture insulin, which has experienced a price increase of more than 600 percent over the past two decades in the United States.

"While this change is a step in the right direction, all of us in the healthcare community must do more to fix the problem of high out-of-pocket costs for Americans living with chronic conditions", Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks said in a statement.

Yet, bipartisan legislation is expected to come out of the hearings, and analysts say Eli Lilly is trying to be ahead of it.

Lilly and other drugmakers have been targeted by protesters and taken heat over soaring prices for some of their products.

He added in a separate statement that Lilly pays significant rebates from its list price, but those discounts do not directly benefit all patients. It will be offered in vial and pen options.

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List prices are initial figures drugmakers attach to a product.

Still, congressional investigations into drug pricing - including Lilly's - will continue, Democrat Sen.

"Regardless of the headlines and PR acrobatics, the Finance Committee is continuing to investigate how major insulin manufacturers set and increase the outrageous price of insulin, in addition to other business decisions related to the price of insulin". Solutions that lower the cost of insulin at the pharmacy have been introduced in recent months, but more people need help.

"Clearly, the insulin cartel is feeling pressure after years of price gouging a lifesaving drug", he wrote.

Shares of Lily fell almost 2 percent to $126.56 Monday afternoon while broader indexes were down slightly.

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