Sanofi plans to cut U.S. list prices for its most popular insulin product, Lantus, by 78% as well as capping out-of-pocket costs for the diabetes medicine at $35 per month for people with private insurance.
In a March 16 press release, the French drugmaker, which currently has its U.S. headquarters in Bridgewater, said the changes are slated to go into effect Jan. 1, 2024.
Along with cutting down the price of Lantus, a long-acting injection insulin, the company said it would reduce the cost of its fast-acting insulin product Apidra by 70%.
Sanofi noted several other steps it has taken to lower the price of insulin, including the June 2022 launch of an unbranded Lantus biologic that costs 60% less and a cap on out-of-pocket costs on insulin to $35 for all people without insurance.
In a statement, Olivier Bogillot, Sanofi’s head of U.S. general medicines, said, “Sanofi believes that no one should struggle to pay for their insulin and we are proud of our continued actions to improve access and affordability for millions of patients for many years. We launched our unbranded biologic for Lantus at 60% less than the Lantus list price … but, despite this pioneering low-price approach, the health system was unable to take advantage of it due to its inherent structural challenges.”
“We are pleased to see others join our efforts to help patients as we now accelerate the transformation of the U.S. insulin market. Our decision to cut the list price of our lead insulin needs to be coupled with broader change to the overall system to actually drive savings for patients at the pharmacy counter,” he said.
The move to cut the cost of insulin follows similar ones by Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly.
Eli Lilly was the first of those companies to announce its price cuts, calling on other companies to do the same. Novo Nordisk followed soon after, saying it would reduce the prices of four of its legacy products by 65% to 75%.
Together, the three companies control about 90% of the insulin market in the U.S.
In a statement following Sanofi’s announcement, President Joseph Biden said, “As of this afternoon, all three of the leading insulin producers in America have agreed to substantially reduce their prices, following my calls to expand my $35 cap for seniors to all Americans.”
“Sanofi is the latest company to recognize that charging hundreds of dollars for insulin that costs $10 to produce is just wrong, especially when the lives of so many children, parents, and grandparents depend on it.d