As part of its revised policies that go into effect on January 1, 2024, Sanofi will cut the list price of Lantus (insulin glargine injection) by 78% and establish a $35 cap on out-of-pocket costs for the treatment for patients with commercial insurance.
Additionally, the company said that it will cut the list price of its short-acting Apidra by 70%.
“Sanofi believes that no one should struggle to pay for their insulin and we are proud of our continued actions to improve access and affordability for millions of patients for many years. We launched our unbranded biologic for Lantus at 60 percent less than the Lantus list price in June 2022 but, despite this pioneering low-price approach, the health system was unable to take advantage of it due to its inherent structural challenges,” Olivier Bogillot, head of U.S. general medicines at Sanofi, said in a statement. “We are pleased to see others join our efforts to help patients as we now accelerate the transformation of the U.S. insulin market. Our decision to cut the list price of our lead insulin needs to be coupled with broader change to the overall system to actually drive savings for patients at the pharmacy counter.”
Sanofi’s announcement comes days after Novo said that it would cut the list price of its NovoLog insulin list price by 75%, as well as its Novolin and Levemir insulin by 65%, starting in January 2024.
Earlier this month, Lilly led the charge by declaring it would reduce the price of its most commonly prescribed insulins by 70% and cap the monthly out-of-pocket costs at $35 or less. This put pressure on Novo and Sanofi, which together with Lilly control about 90% of the insulin market, to follow suit.
Lilly is cutting the list price of its non-branded insulin to $25 per vial effective May 1, reducing the list price of Humalog by 70% effective in Q4 2023 and launching Rezvoglar, a basal insulin that is biosimilar to Lantus, for $92 per five pack of KwikPens, effective April 1.
The three companies made the price reductions months after the Inflation Reduction Act capped the monthly price of insulin at $35 for Medicare beneficiaries. Additionally, President Joe Biden called for a universal price cap during his State of the Union address last month.
Still, while the moves have been welcomed by Biden, patients and advocates, there is a business calculus behind the price cuts as well.
Numerous media outlets have noted that by cutting the cost of insulin, these drugmakers stand to save millions by no longer having to pay rebates to Medicaid for raising the price of drugs faster than the rate of inflation.