Two states launch in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Eli Lilly’s in­sulin pric­ing

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - - Alex Kacik

Two state at­tor­neys gen­eral are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany Eli Lilly & Co.’s in­sulin pric­ing, the com­pany said last week.

The at­tor­neys gen­eral of Wash­ing­ton state and New Mex­ico are look­ing into the price of the In­di­anapo­lis-based com­pany’s in­sulin prod­ucts as well as its re­la­tion­ship with phar­macy ben­e­fit man­agers. Eli Lilly said in a Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sion fil­ing that it was co­op­er­at­ing with the in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

The price of in­sulin has been steadily ris­ing over the last decade-plus. The an­nual cost for pa­tients has in­creased from $231 in 2002 to $736 in 2013, ac­cord­ing to a 2016 study pub­lished in JAMA. Re­searchers say the price surge is re­lated to the im­prove­ment and spe­cial­iza­tion of the drug as well as loom­ing price com­pe­ti­tion when more biosim­i­lars are in­tro­duced.

Ex­pressScripts, a ma­jor phar­macy ben­e­fit man­ager based in St. Louis, re­cently launched an in­sulin dis­count pro­gram in part­ner­ship with Eli Lilly, of­fer­ing a po­ten­tial 40% dis­count off the re­tail price of most in­sulin prod­ucts made by Lilly.

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