ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota has reached a settlement with Eli Lilly and Co. in a price gouging lawsuit against the country’s three biggest insulin manufacturers that guarantees that Minnesotans can now buy Lilly-produced insulin for only $35 a month for the next five years, Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Wednesday.
The resolution is expected to be advantageous for approximately 500,000 individuals, regardless of whether they have insurance. During a press conference, Ellison stated that it includes all insulin products under the brand name Lilly. Legal action is still in progress against two other companies mentioned in the lawsuit from 2018, Sanofi-Aventis and Novo Nordisk.
According to the American Diabetes Association, over 8 million individuals in the United States rely on insulin to convert food into energy, as their bodies do not produce enough of it due to diabetes.
Lilly and other companies have made efforts to assist individuals with diabetes in paying for their insulin. Additionally, Minnesota implemented an emergency program in 2020 to support diabetics. According to Ellison, the settlement offers improved assurance to patients that their out-of-pocket expenses for insulin will not exceed $35 per month, starting immediately.
Ellison stated that it is illogical for a necessary medicine to be inaccessible unless there is an emergency or if it is too expensive. This agreement breaks through that barrier and eliminates the high cost, making it only $35 when needed.
Residents of Minnesota can find details on how to obtain the $35-per-month Lilly insulin at MNinsulin35.org.
Ellison stated that last year, New York came to a comparable agreement with the three largest insulin manufacturers. In addition, his office mentioned that the attorneys general of California, Illinois, Arizona, and Utah, as well as certain local governments, have also filed lawsuits with similar claims within the past year. President Joe Biden’s 2022 Inflation Reduction Act has limited the maximum amount that seniors on Medicare need to pay for insulin to $35 per month.
Lilly stated that the agreement guarantees that Minnesotans will be able to obtain affordable insulins, and it builds upon previous measures taken by the company, such as price reductions and limits announced in March, which have resulted in an average monthly out-of-pocket expense of $20.48 for Lilly insulin.
Last year, Novo Nordisk also disclosed intentions to decrease insulin prices beginning this current year.
The emergency program in Minnesota is called after Alec Smith, who passed away in 2017 at 26 years old due to diabetic complications. He had been stretching out his insulin supply by rationing it.
At the press conference, Nicole Smith-Holt, his mother, stated that there are now numerous options available for individuals with diabetes in Minnesota to obtain affordable insulin. She believes that this will greatly impact and save many lives.