California, Civica partner to manufacture insulin, cap costs

California has entered a 10-year contract with nonprofit drugmaker Civica Rx to manufacture insulin and cap costs at $30 per vial, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced during a March 18 press conference. 

The contract covers three forms of insulin: glargine, lispro and aspart, according to NPR. Civica — formed four years ago by health systems — plans to manufacture the products at a new facility in late-stage construction in Petersburg, Va., and is working with California to identify an additional manufacturing facility in the state. Pending approval from the FDA, manufacturing is expected to begin later this year, with the state-label insulins not expected to hit store shelves until at least next year, according to CBS News. 

Under the agreement, a 10 milliliter vial of insulin will cost no more than $30, and a box of five pre-filled pens will cost no more than $55. The program is expected to save patients between $2,000 and $4,000 per year. 

"It'll cost us $30 to manufacture and distribute, and that's how much the consumer can buy it for," Mr. Newsom's office said in a statement. "You don't need a voucher or coupon to access this price, and it's available to everybody regardless of insurance plan." 

There are several obstacles and risks surrounding the program, including the time it could take to get FDA approval, as well as the possibility for other manufacturers to reduce the availability of their drugs as a result, according to CBS' report. 

Mr. Newsom said California is also exploring plans to manufacture generic naloxone to combat fentanyl overdoses. 

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