Novo Nordisk delivers promised insulin price cuts, plus free option for emergency needs

Insulin
Novo Nordisk debuted new pricing options for its insulin aimed at increasing access and lowering costs. (Getty/Talaj)

Novo Nordisk recently rolled out its promised insulin price cuts, along with a new free emergency supply option. The diabetes drug maker delivered on two earlier announced plans—generic options and a $99-per-month, with-or-without insurance plan—along with an “Immediate Supply” program.

Novo's new free, one-time emergency supply would give three vials or two packs of pens, or about a one-month supply, to people with prescriptions who may be at risk of rationing. The My$99Insulin program offers a similar three vials or two packs of pens on any Novo Nordisk insulins at a cost of $99 per month, while the generic or follow-on insulin is priced between $145 and $279 depending on the brand.

Novo Nordisk and competitors Sanofi and Eli Lilly announced last year that they would lower insulin prices amid increased criticism and political pressure.

RELATED: FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb blasts insulin pricing, unveils move to bolster biosimilar competition

While Novo already had patient assistance programs to help with insulin costs, “Over the last several years, the healthcare system and benefit design have changed, which has led to more people facing affordability challenges like those in high deductible healthcare plans or because they’re uninsured," the company told FiercePharma in a statement.

Novo came up with the plans after talking to stakeholders, including critics, about insulin needs and gaps for some people with diabetes, adding the new options because “it’s clear that no one solution that will work for everyone and people need options.”

Patients and physicians can access the new programs through NovoCare.com. Novo said it plans to promote the programs on its social media platforms and corporate websites and through online advertising to patients. It'll also use its sales force to talk to physicians, it said.

RELATED: Fed up with the blame game on insulin prices, lawmakers say enough is enough

While insulin pricing has long been under fire, the Trump administration pressure—as well as a bipartisan Senate hearing in the spring along, with continued media and consumer criticism—led to the three largest diabetes drugmakers' price cuts. Lilly first unveiled a generic Humalog insulin at half price in May, followed by Sanofi, which then expanded its savings program to add a $99-per-month subscription plan. Novo announced its price cut plans in September.

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