Cheaper insulin from Eli Lilly hard to find in Arizona: 5 things to know

Arizona consumers are struggling to find a cheaper version of insulin manufactured by Eli Lilly, according to The Arizona Republic.

Five things to know:

1. Eli Lilly announced in March it would begin manufacturing a cheaper, authorized generic version of its rapid-acting insulin Humalog, called Insulin Lispro. It became available for pharmacies to order May 22. 

2. Insulin Lispro costs $137.35 for a single vial; Humalog costs $275 per vial. 

3. Although Insulin Lispro has been on the market for more than a month, some Arizona consumers are struggling to find it. 

"Every single pharmacy in Arizona has told me no. It's nowhere to be found," Julie Hoffman, an Arizona resident with Type 1 diabetes, told the Arizona Republic. "It's indicative of what we've been dealing with for years and relevant just to the state of the pharmaceutical industry."

4. Sen. Heather Carter, vice chair of the Arizona Senate's HHS committee, echoed residents' complaints and called for an "urgent inquiry" into the issue, according to the newspaper report. 

5. Eli Lilly told the Arizona Republic that Humalog is available in all 50 states and it could be "an awareness issue" because it is a new product and some healthcare professionals and pharmacists may not know it is available for wholesale order. 

"This is the first time a company has made available a lower-priced version of its own insulin — and this means long-term education is needed. We will continue our education efforts about this newest option as long as needed," Eli Lilly spokesperson Greg Kueterman told the Arizona Republic.

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