NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday secured agreements from the nation’s largest insulin makers, Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly), and Sanofi-Aventis US LLC (Sanofi), to limit the price insulin at $35 per monthly prescription for New Yorkers for five years.

An investigation by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has found that list prices set by insulin manufacturers for patients are driving some insulin users to high costs, causing them to ration or drop their insulin. completely.

Under Tuesday’s agreements, any uninsured New Yorkers using Lilly or Sanofi insulin products will not be charged more than $35 for a monthly insulin supply for the next five years, and the two companies have also pledged to provide free insulin to the most needy patients.

“Life-saving medicines must be affordable and accessible to all New Yorkers, regardless of income or insurance status,” Attorney General James said. “Today, uninsured New Yorkers who rely on insulin to control their diabetes can breathe a sigh of relief no longer having to choose between their health and putting food on the table. I will always use the powers of my office to protect vulnerable New Yorkers and ensure that no company takes advantage of it.”

Over the past two decades, list prices for insulin have risen dramatically. Between 2002 and 2013, average list prices for insulin products from all manufacturers nearly tripled. For a person with type 1 diabetes, annual insulin expenditures averaged $2,864 in 2012, and these expenditures reached an average of $5,705 in 2016. These dramatic cost increases were not due to the costs of manufacturing insulin, which, according to one estimate, would not be higher. more than $133 per person per year.

More than 10% of New Yorkers have diabetes, and an estimated 464,000 of them are dependent on insulin every day. New Yorkers who live in the poorest neighborhoods in the state are 70% more likely to have diabetes. In fact, more than 16% of New York adults with diabetes have an annual household income below $25,000, while only 6% have an annual household income above $50,000.

As part of the agreements, Lilly and Sanofi are committed to providing affordable programs that ensure no patient leaves a pharmacy empty-handed because they cannot afford their insulin. Lilly and Sanofi have agreed to implement a streamlined pharmacy counter process that would allow pharmacies to automatically notify cash-paying consumers of their ability to fill their monthly $35 prescription, before leaving the pharmacy counter .

“Access to affordable insulin is a matter of life and death, and no one should have to choose between putting food on the table or buying the drugs they need to survive,” the county executive said. of Westchester, George Latimer. “I am proud that New York is taking a bold step to make insulin more accessible and affordable for our residents, and I commend Attorney General Letitia James for reaching this historic agreement. This is a huge victory for public health and social justice, and I hope other states will follow New York’s lead in ensuring that all Americans have access to the medicines they need to lead a healthy life. »

In addition to the $35 monthly limit for any uninsured New Yorker, Lilly has also agreed to continue working with national aid agencies to identify high-need geographic areas throughout New York and offer insulin products. free of charge through national aid agencies, to more eligible non-profit organisations. clinics in these places. These clinics can provide free insulin products to areas that need them the most. Sanofi has also agreed to offer free insulin to the most needy consumers who meet income thresholds tied to the federal poverty level.

“Insulin is essential for those who need it to manage their diabetes,” said MP Amy Paulin. “However, the high cost of insulin can affect adherence to an insulin regimen. In turn, lack of adherence can impact quality of life, as well as serious health consequences. I commend Attorney General Letitia James for reaching an agreement with insulin manufacturers to cap insulin prices for uninsured New Yorkers No one should have to compromise between living expenses base or their health.”

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