BISMARCK, N.D. - Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., along with Senators Tina Smith D-MN., and Dick Durbin, D-IL, introduced a bill Thursday requiring the FDA to continue reviewing generic insulin applications even after the agency’s currently planned March 2020 cut-off date.
A press release from Cramer’s office says there are only three primary insulin manufacturers in the U.S., Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, and Sanofi. Lantus, a popular long-acting insulin, cost $35 when it was first introduced in 2001. Within the past few years, the price of a Lantus vial has skyrocketed to more than $372, while that same exact drug was sold in France for $46, and $67 in Canada. The United States represents only 15 percent of the global insulin market, yet generates nearly half of pharma’s revenue on insulin.
“More generic insulin in the market means lower costs for those in need. Our bill encourages competition and free market solutions to the rising cost of this life-saving drug,” said Cramer.
Thirty million Americans are living with type I or II diabetes. Approximately 7.5 million of them rely on insulin to manage their blood sugar levels, and it is essential to their survival. The legislation is supported by Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition, the National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council, and Children with Diabetes.