insulin

Kentucky’s attorney general is taking the nation’s three largest insulin manufacturers to court over rising drug prices. 

Beshear has filed a lawsuit in Franklin Circuit Court against Eli Lilly, Sanofi-Aventis, and Novo Nordisk.  The three defendants control 96 percent of the world’s insulin market.  

Beshear says the companies have increased the price of their insulin products at least ten times while production costs have remained low, usually less than seven dollars per vial.  The wholesale price has jumped to nearly $300 and the price paid by some Kentuckians can exceed $1,000 a month.

Flickr/Adrian Black

Nearly 500,000 adults in Kentucky are living with diabetes and becoming increasingly burdened by the cost of insulin.

Angela Lautner, head of KOI#insulin4all, an advocacy group representing diabetics in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana, says costs of the two main insulin brands have increased more than 1,000 percent since the late 1990s.

“Humalog and Novolog were approximately $25 when introduced to the market originally--$25 per vial. Now, Humalog’s list price is $274.70 per vial.”