In recent years, the rising cost of insulin has been a major concern for millions of Americans who rely on this life-saving medication to manage their diabetes. However, there is some good news for those struggling to afford their insulin. Drugmaker Eli Lilly has recently slashed the price of insulin by 70%, capping out-of-pocket costs at $35 or less per month. This is a major access overhaul that has brought tremendous relief to millions of people with diabetes.
This move by Eli Lilly has been warmly welcomed by patients, doctors, and advocacy groups alike. While the decision was long overdue, it is a significant step forward in making insulin more affordable for those who need it most. Importantly, this price reduction is not just for one type of insulin or for a limited time. It applies to all Lilly insulins, including Humalog, Humulin, and Basaglar, and it is a permanent change.
The company’s decision to reduce the price of insulin has been attributed to various factors, including the expiration of patent protections, increasing competition from other drugmakers, and public pressure to address the high cost of insulin. However, some credit must also be given to James Elliott, a software engineer who launched a trolling campaign against Eli Lilly on social media.
In 2016, Elliott became frustrated with the high cost of insulin and began tweeting sarcastic comments at Eli Lilly, including a suggestion that they start selling insulin for $1. After his tweets went viral, Elliott launched a Change.org petition demanding that Eli Lilly reduce the cost of insulin. The petition garnered over 420,000 signatures, and Elliott was invited to speak at the company’s annual shareholder meeting.
Although the company did not initially respond to Elliott’s campaign, it is clear that public pressure played a role in their decision to reduce the price of insulin. In a statement, Lilly CEO David Ricks acknowledged the role of patient advocacy groups and the diabetes community in pushing for affordable insulin, saying, “We heard them. We acted.”
While Eli Lilly’s decision to reduce the price of insulin is a major victory for patients, there is still much work to be done to make sure that everyone who needs insulin can afford it. Too many people have been forced to ration their insulin or go without it altogether due to high costs, putting their lives at risk. The fight for affordable insulin continues, but for now, we can celebrate this important step forward.