Lilly says there is no shortage of its insulin or other drugs

man in insulin production lab
Eli Lilly says its U.S. and EU insulin production is keeping up with demand and that any pharmacies reporting shortages can just call their wholesalers and get resupplied in a day or two. (Eli Lilly)

Eli Lilly says it’s heard the reports that some patients can’t get their insulin but insists its supply pipeline is full. Pharmacies that have shortages should be able to get it in a couple of days from wholesalers it insists. 

Lilly in an update on supplies today said it has received a few reports that some U.S. pharmacies have told patients they are out of insulin due to "manufacturer backorder." Lilly says it has told everyone along the supply chain it doesn’t have any products on backorder—“including insulin”—and that patients need to let their pharmacies know that. 

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Lilly said it has been staying on top of its supply chain for any potential interruptions around the world. It points out its insulin production is in the U.S. and Europe is steady and that it does not buy any APIs from China, where the COVID-19 outbreak might affect production. 

Given the job losses resulting from the impact of the global outbreak of the virus on the U.S. economy, Lilly reminded insulin users that can’t afford their drugs they can turn to its Diabetes Solution Center for help. 

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“COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge for all of us, but Lilly has planned for such events," Mike Mason, president of Lilly Diabetes said in a statement. "Our manufacturing facilities, supply chain, and Lilly Diabetes Solution Center are designed to support those who rely on insulin.

“If you need help, please call the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center," Mason said.

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Some other drugmakers also have reported their supply chains are secure and some are pushing them to capacity to meet demand for drugs that might be useful against the COVID-19 virus. Roche today reported it is working to maximize supplies of Actemra, an arthritis drug that China used to treat some COVID-19 patients.

A handful of generic drugmakers are pushing production of hydroxychloroquine sulphate and chloroquine phosphate APls and tablets after they also were used on some patients in China. But some patients in the U.S.have run into difficulty getting those drugs for the illnesses for which they are approved like lupus as doctors try them against COVID-19. 

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