Eli Lilly to offer half-price insulin for people with type 1 diabetes

(NBC) – Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co announced plans on Monday to sell a half-price version of its popular insulin injection Humalog, as it fends off criticism about rising drug prices in the United States.

Major drugmakers including Lilly, a leading producer of insulin, have come under fire from patients and lawmakers over the rising cost of the life-saving medication used to treat diabetes.

Lilly’s rebranded product would be called Insulin Lispro, it said, while Humalog, which makes $3 billion in annual sales, will remain available for those wishing to access it through existing insurance plans.

Other companies, including Gilead Sciences, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi, have also announced some price cuts in recent years, as the U.S. government increases scrutiny of the industry and high drug prices remains a major voter concern.

The cost of insulin for treating type 1 diabetes in the United States has nearly doubled over a five-year period, leading some patients to put their own health at risk by rationing the medication because they could not afford out-of-pocket expenses.

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