March 31, 2023

VICTORY: Big Pharma giant caves to public pressure in HUGE win for Dems

VICTORY: Big Pharma giant caves to public pressure in HUGE win for Dems

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Big Pharma giant Eli Lilly has announced plans to cut the price of its most widely used insulin products by up to 70%, bringing both criticism and praise for what some consider to be long overdue.

Said to take effect immediately, out-of-pocket patient costs will be capped at $35 per month, and be available to those without medical care, as well as the insured.

“This is what corporate responsibility looks like,” Rep. Eric Swalwell tweeted Wednesday morning.

“The aggressive price cuts we’re announcing today should make a real difference for Americans with diabetes,” Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks said in a statement.

Others were less gracious.

“Eli Lilly cut the cost of insulin ONLY after the cost was capped for Medicare by President Biden and Democrats in the IRA,” Oliver Willis, senior writer for the American Independent wrote on social media, reminding the public that every Republican voted against the historic legislation.

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Though the Democrat-sponsored IRA, signed into law by President Joe Biden, capped the price of insulin for seniors on Medicare, the President urged Congress to put forth legislation that will give all Americans who need it affordable access.

“Look at the profit margins of these companies – they’re hundreds of billions of dollars,” the President said at a Virginia event. “It’s not like they’re getting hurt.”

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White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates isn’t letting the GOP off the hook either.

Not only did every House Republican vote AGAINST the Inflation Reduction Act, but they are actively working to repeal the historic legislation.

“Reminder: Republicans want to REPEAL the Inflation Reduction Act and force Americans to pay higher drug costs,” Bates wrote on Twitter.

According to the American Diabetes Association, over 37 million Americans are currently living with the disease, with 8.4 million needing insulin for survival.

Leading the world in global diabetes research, the ADA applauded Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) for introducing legislation in June of last year intended to make the life-saving drug more affordable for those who need it.

“We applaud the commitment of Senators Shaheen and Collins to finally make insulin affordable at a national level.” – Lisa Murdock, ADA Chief Advocacy Officer

Eli Lilly’s announcement will see the price of Humalog products affected.

This comes as welcome news to the millions in need of the most prescribed insulin product.

Pharmaceutical companies have come under increased scrutiny from the public and advocates for affordable prescription drugs in recent years.

According to a 2021 report from the Rand Corporation, the average cost of insulin was over 10 times that of 33 different countries located in Europe, Asia, the Americas, and the continent of Australia.

Photo courtesy of Rand Corp.

The disparity in the numbers is staggering.

In 2021, the Senate ended a two-year investigation into insulin price, turning up the heat on Eli Lilly to act.

According to Rand, the average price of rapid-acting insulin in the U.S. was $119 compared to other countries that pay just $8.

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With rapid-acting insulin being used by 1/3 of the United States market, the exorbitant cost of life-saving medication has prompted some to ration their medication, which is both dangerous and potentially deadly.

“It comes at a high cost, and not just financially,” Houston blogger Mila Clarke Buckley said, “but in terms of your life.”

The 30-year-old suffers from autoimmune diabetes, sharing her story with the over 30,000 readers of her diabetes-related “Hangry Woman,” blog.

“It’s not like one day you can just stop taking insulin. You really have to manage your life thinking, OK, this is my No. 1 priority to be able to get this little pen of liquid so that I can live,” Buckley writes.

Original reporting by Max Zahn at ABC, and Berkeley Lovelace, Jr. at NBC News

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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