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In victory for people with diabetes, Sanofi announces insulin price caps, the last of 3 major insulin makers to do so

Sanofi will cap the out-of-pocket cost of its most popular insulin, called Lantus, at $35 per month for people with private insurance, the French drugmaker said Thursday. The change will take effect Jan. 1, 2024.

Sanofi is the last of the major insulin makers in the United States to cut or cap the price of the drug.

Both Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk announced changes to how they price their insulin earlier this month. Together, the three drugmakers make up roughly 90% of the insulin market in the U.S.

“It seemed like only a matter of time” before Sanofi also made changes, said Stacie Dusetzina, a health policy professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. “You don’t want to be a standout.”

About 8.4 million people in the U.S. with diabetes rely on insulin, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Sanofi already offers a $35 monthly cap for people without insurance.

In addition to the price limit for people on private insurance, Sanofi will also lower the list price of Lantus by 78% and its short-acting insulin Apidra by 70%. Those moves will benefit people with high deductibles.

Insulin makers in the U.S. have faced pressure from lawmakers and advocacy groups to lower the price of the medication, which is much costlier in the U.S. compared to other countries. The pressure only intensified following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which capped the monthly out-of-pocket cost of insulin at $35 for seniors on Medicare.

Earlier Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to the CEO of Sanofi, urging the executive to lower the cost of the company’s insulin, following price reductions from Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk.

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