Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Eli Lilly has announced it will make a generic version of its diabetes drug, Humalog. that will sell for half the price of its branded product. It seems like a good PR move until one examines the price -- $137.35 a vial. That's still too steep for diabetics who must pay for the treatment out of their pockets and need more than one vial a month. It also overlooks the fact that Humalog's list price has risen more than 1200 percent since it was approved for use in 1996. While patients will be happy to get a price break, they won't be satisfied for long, knowing that the generic version could and should be much less expensive. Lilly's move is close to an empty gesture. It looks good but there is little to it. It is also unlikely to appease Congress and the White House who are both pushing for pharmaceutical manufacturers to lower the cost of their drugs.