Eli Lilly & Company LLY announced that it will soon launch an authorized generic version of its popular insulin, Humalog in the United States at a lower list price. The list price of the authorized generic version, to be called Insulin Lispro and containing an identical molecule as Humalog, will be 50% lower than the current list price of Humalog. Insulin Lispro will be available in vial and pen (KwikPen) options. The vial is priced at $137.35 while KwikPens pack of five will cost $265.20. Lilly is working to make the insulin available as quickly as possible.
Humalog brought in sales of almost $3 billion in 2018, up 5% year over year. The branded drug will remain available for those wishing to access it through existing insurance plans.
Lilly’s stock has risen 10.1% this year so far compared with a 3.9% increase for the industry.
The move comes as the three largest insulin manufacturers, Lilly, Sanofi SNY and Novo Nordisk NVO face increasing scrutiny for steep prices of insulins. Prices have reportedly nearly doubled in the past five years. The insulin makers have defended the high list prices by saying that they have to pay significant rebates to pharmacy benefit managers to secure market share. However, uninsured patients suffer a lot due to the high list prices of insulins.
Last week, executives from several big pharma companies including Pfizer PFE, Sanofi, J&J, AbbVie and others were grilled by senators regarding high drug prices. Senators emphasized that the United States has some of the highest drug prices in the world and the companies need to make changes in drug pricing before the government imposes regulations. They blamed the American patent system for the high prices of drugs as it gives these companies a lot of monopoly protection.
Lilly currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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