N.Y. (WETM) — New York Attorney General Letitia James reached agreements with the country’s largest insulin manufacturers to cap the price of insulin for uninsured New Yorkers.
“Lifesaving medication should be affordable and accessible for all New Yorkers regardless of their income or insurance status,” said James. “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.”
The agreements James made with Lilly and Sanofi insured that the price of insulin will be capped at $35 per month for the next five years. Both of these companies also committed to offering insulin to the neediest patients for free.
According to James’s office, more than 10% of people living in New York have diabetes, and about 464,000 of them rely on insulin every day. An investigation by the attorney general’s office found that the prices set by insulin manufacturers were not affordable for some insulin users. Some insulin users had to ration their insulin or were unable to purchase it.
The price of insulin has gone up dramatically within the past 20 years, and James’s office said that the price increases were not linked to manufacturing costs. The average cost of insulin for one person with Type 1 diabetes was $2,864 per year. This cost rose to $5,705 in 2016.
“New Yorkers should never have to beg and borrow to obtain lifesaving medications,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “However, for far too long, big pharmaceutical companies charged hardworking New Yorkers a fortune for treatment, leaving some to forego much-needed care. That devastating power imbalance ends today.”
Sanofi has agreed to offer free insulin to consumers that fall below the federal poverty line. Lilly has agreed to work with national relief agencies to offer insulin products for free in areas throughout the state that have the highest needs.