Sanofi Lantus brand insulin pens are pictured for a photo in Brooklyn, New York on April 5, 2019.
Alex Flynn | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Americans, regardless of their insurance status, now have access Sanofiis the most widely prescribed insulin for $35 through the prescription drug savings company GoodRxthe companies was announced Thursday.
Patients with a valid prescription can specifically access a $35 coupon for Sanofi’s Lantus on the GoodRx website and redeem it at more than 70,000 retail pharmacies across the US, including CVS, Walgreens and Walmart.
The effort aims to make the $35 price tag for Lantus more widely accessible to Americans, even after Sanofi — along with its rivals Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk — announced sweeping insulin price cuts and cost caps earlier this year.
These three companies, which control more than 90% of the global insulin market, moved to lower prices after years of political pressure and public outrage over the high cost of US diabetes care paid by Americans about eight times more for insulin from other developed countries, making the country’s diabetes more expensive chronic condition.
Sanofi said in March it would lower list prices for Lantus and cover out-of-pocket costs for people with insurance to $35 a month. But the change won’t take effect until January.
The French company also has an existing patient assistance program to cap insulin prices for uninsured diabetes patients at the same price. But some patients found it difficult to access the $35 price, even with this plan.
This is due to low patient awareness of membership cards and patient savings programs that can help with out-of-pocket costs. Health experts and patient advocates have raised concerns about this these programsmanaged by manufacturers, often require people to jump through hoops just to save money.
Pharmaceutical companies spend more than $5 billion promoting patient advocacy programs each year, but only 3% of patients actually use them, according to Research 2021 from Phreesia Life Sciences.
President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act also capped the monthly cost of insulin for Medicare beneficiaries at $35, but did not provide protections for diabetes patients who have private insurance.
About 37 million people in the US, or 11.3% of the country’s population, have diabetes, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 8.4 million patients with diabetes rely on insulin American Diabetes Association he said.
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