Eli Lilly offers insulin discount after years of price hikes

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly unveiled Tuesday a new discount program for its insulin products. Under the program, which begins in January, patients who pay full price for insulin will be able to access a 40 percent discount, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Uninsured individuals or those with high-deductible health plans may order the discounted drug through a startup called Blink Health, which offers savings on prescription drugs through a free app and website.

Eli Lilly produces several insulin products, including Humalog, which has jumped in cost from $21 a vial in 1996 to $255 in 2016.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the program represents part of a growing effort among drug companies to combat public scrutiny of high drug prices.

"The healthcare system is incredibly complex, and we hope this program is a first step that will drive more thinking and innovative solutions for people with diabetes," Enrique Conterno, president of Lilly Diabetes, said in a news release. "A more extensive solution will require leadership and cooperation across many stakeholders, including manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, insurers and patients."

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