ALBANY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced on Tuesday, May 2 that her office has reached an agreement with manufacturers to cap insulin prices for uninsured New Yorkers.
James announced an agreement with Lilly and Sanofi – two of the biggest insulin manufacturers in the nation – to cap prices for their diabetes medications at $35 for uninsured New Yorkers for the next five years. Both companies also committed to offering free insulin for diabetes patients in greatest need.
“Lifesaving medication should be affordable and accessible for all New Yorkers regardless of their income or insurance status,” the Attorney General said in a statement. “Today, uninsured New Yorkers who rely on insulin to manage their diabetes can breathe a sigh of relief that they no longer have to choose between their health or putting food on the table. I will always use the powers of my office to protect vulnerable New Yorkers, and to ensure no company takes advantage of them.”
According to the Attorney General’s office, it is estimated that almost half a million people in the state need insulin every day, and 16 percent of adult diabetes patients have an income of under $25,000. In 2016 alone, patients spent almost an average of $6,000 annually on insulin and products required to take it.
Both Lilly and Sanofi have agreed to offer affordable programs to ensure patients get the insulin they need. The two companies have also agreed to implement a process at pharmacies that would allow them to advise patients of the $35 agreement before they leave the pharmacy.
Lilly has also agreed to continue their work with national relief agencies to identify places where insulin need is greatest and offer insulin products – free of charge through these agencies– to clinics in those places and their patients.
Sanofi will also be offering free insulin to their neediest customers who meet income thresholds tied to the federal poverty line.