ALBANY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Attorney General Letitia James announced on Friday that she has reached an agreement with one of the nation’s largest insulin providers to help make insulin more affordable for the uninsured.
James announced that she has secured an agreement with Novo Nordisk, one of the nation’s largest insulin providers, to cap prices of insulin at $35 per monthly prescription for uninsured New Yorkers for the next five years. The agreement also requires the company to implement a program with pharmacies to automatically let uninsured patients know before they pay that they are eligible for the insulin cap.
“New Yorkers who rely on lifesaving medication like insulin should not have to ration their doses or forgo taking their medicine altogether because they cannot afford it,” James said in a statement. “Today’s agreement will mean that uninsured New Yorkers do not have to choose between taking their insulin and putting food on the table. I will always use the powers of my office to help protect vulnerable New Yorkers, and to ensure no company takes advantage of them.”
In addition, Novo Nordisk has agreed to continue offering free insulin to the neediest patients who meet income thresholds tied to the federal poverty line. The company has also agreed to continue offering its Immediate Supply Program to those patients who are at risk of rationing their insulin due to financial hardship. Uninsured New Yorkers who do not seek reimbursement from any federal or state health care program will also be offered insulin from Novo Nordisk at no cost.
The Attorney General’s agreement follows earlier agreements in May with insulin manufacturers Eli Lilly and Sanofi to cap their prices for insulin at the same $35 level.
According to an investigation by the Attorney General’s office, more than 16 percent of New York State adults with diabetes have an annual household income of less than $25,000. The Attorney General’s office also found that list prices for all manufacturers of insulin has nearly tripled from 2002 to 2013. By 2016, a person with Type I diabetes spent an average of over $5,700 on insulin alone.