NEW YORK, March 17, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi announced on Thursday it would cut the US price of its most prescribed insulin by 78 percent, falling in line with two other major drug makers.
Eli Lilly announced this month it would cut the US price of its insulin by 70 percent and Novo Nordisk followed suit by saying it would lower the price by 75 percent.
The moves come after US President Joe Biden urged insulin manufacturers to lower the price of a life-saving drug needed by millions of Americans living with diabetes.
"Insulin costs less than $10 to make, but Americans are sometimes forced to pay over $300 for it," Biden said.
Sanofi, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk dominate the insulin market in the United States.
Sanofi said it would cut the list price of Lantus, its most widely prescribed insulin in the United States, by 78 percent from January 1, 2024.
The company said it would also cap out-of-pocket costs at $35 per month for people with insurance.
"Sanofi believes that no one should struggle to pay for their insulin," Olivier Bogillot, Sanofi's head of US general medicines, said.
"We are proud of our continued actions to improve access and affordability for millions of patients for many years," Bogillot said in a statement.
The incidence of diabetes in the United States in adults has doubled over the last 20 years, afflicting 37.3 million people, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Insulin prices have soared in the country, with the drug costing over eight times more than in 32 comparable high-income countries, a 2020 Rand Corporation study found.
The unaffordability of insulin -- particularly for uninsured Americans -- has become a rallying cry for critics of Big Pharma.