Most insurers don't cover Eli Lilly's half-priced insulin

Most insurers and pharmacy benefit managers haven't placed the cheaper version of insulin manufactured by Eli Lilly on their lists of covered drugs, according to the Financial Times.

Eli Lilly announced in March, shortly before the drugmaker was set to be questioned by Congress about the soaring price of the lifesaving drug, that 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. 

Since then, about 3 percent of insurance claims for Eli Lilly's insulin have been for the generic, half-priced version, compared to 97 percent for the brand name Humalog, according to the report. 

But only 1 in 5 commercial health plans and 1 in 4 Medicare health plans cover Insulin Lispro. 

Eli Lilly said it is working with payers to increase the number of plans that cover the cheaper, generic version.

Express Scripts, the largest PBM in the U.S., does not include Insulin Lispro on its main national preferred formulary. Express Scripts told the Financial Times this is because most of the plans under that formulary have a flat copay for patients, who would pay the same amount for Humalog or Insulin Lispro.

Read the full report here

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