According to a company press release, the price reductions will go into effect at the start of 2024
Novo Nordisk, one of the world’s largest suppliers of insulin, has announced plans to cut prices of its insulin products for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, including insulin aspart inejection (NovoLog) and insulin aspart protamine and insulin aspart (NovoLog Mix 70/30) insulins by 75% and Novolin and insulin detemir (Levemir) by 65%, according to a company press release.1 However, patients will have to wait until January 2024 for these price cuts to go into effect.
Novo Nordisk also announced plans to cut the prices for its unbranded biologic products—Insulin Aspart and Insulin Aspart Protamine/Insulin Aspart—to match the reduced price of the corresponding brands.
This move comes less than 2 weeks after Eli Lilly, another titan in the pharmaceutical industry and a competitor of Novo Nordisk, slashed prices of their own insulin by 70% and placed a $35 price cap on monthly out of pocket costs for the life-saving drug.2
Steve Albers, a senior vice president at Novo Nordisk, said, “We have been working to develop a sustainable path forward that balances patient affordability, market dynamics and evolving policy changes. Novo Nordisk remains committed to ensuring patients living with diabetes can afford our insulins, a responsibility we take seriously.”
Over 8 million individuals in the United States take insulin; these announcements from Novo Nordisk and Eli Lily come as welcome news for a large demographic. Lawmakers have been calling on drug manufacturers to cap insulin prices, as the cost of the medication has skyrocketed in recent years despite a relatively level production price over time.
Many patients with diabetes currently spend hundreds of dollars a month for insulin. Novo Nordisk’s insulin aspart injection currently has a list price of approximately $600 for a 5-pack of injection pens; that price will be cut to 139.71, the company told the Wall Street Journal.3
Although many insured individuals pay a fixed monthly amount and may not see any change in how much they are charged for insulin, many uninsured individuals—consistently the most vulnerable demographic in health care—will likely see a drastic drop in the drug’s pricing.
Novo Nordisk says that it “recognizes that some patients find it difficult to pay for healthcare, including insulin,” and that they are “committed to reducing the burden of out-of-pocket costs, helping transform the complex pricing system, and fostering better pricing predictability.”2
Sanofi SA, the other major player in insulin production around the globe, has not announced any plans to cut insulin costs.
Novo Nordisk to lower U.S. prices of several pre-filled insulin pens and vials up to 75% for people living with diabetes in January 2024. News Release. March 14, 2023. Accessed March 14, 2023. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/novo-nordisk-to-lower-us-prices-of-several-pre-filled-insulin-pens-and-vials-up-to-75-for-people-living-with-diabetes-in-january-2024-301771409.html
2. Eli Lilly slashing insulin prices, capping monthly out of pocket costs for many. Drug Topics. March 2, 2023. Accessed March 14, 2023. https://www.drugtopics.com/view/eli-lilly-slashing-insulin-prices-capping-monthly-out-of-pocket-costs-for-many
3. Novo Nordisk to slash insulin prices by up to 75%. The Wall Street Journal. March 14, 2023. Accessed March 14, 2023. https://www.wsj.com/articles/insulin-price-cut-novo-nordisk-cb0f2061