Insulin prices "Today, Explained" podcast

Heard an interesting podcast on NPR’s “Today, Explained” show today. Here’s a copy on Apple podcasts, but of course there are other places to listen to it, and I think anyone can listen here:

Two things of interest to me:

(1) They quote the production cost of insulin (presumably the less expensive types) at only $10 per vial. I’ve looked for this before without finding it, and I was surprised it was that low. My Humalog has a (almost completely fictional :slight_smile: retail price of $325; Regular is probably cheaper.

(B) They don’t mention the fact that Medicare users on a pump don’t have any co-pay (at least, I don’t). That’s a detail, of course, but it might have been of interest to their listeners. Probably TMI.

Insulin pumps can be expensive, but they do have certain financial advantages, too!


Keith Johnson
Retired Celestial Wizard and Keeper of the Cosmic Keys
Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves.
I wear my pancreas on my belt.

Any word on when Eli Lilly’s $35 insulin becomes available to purchase?

Here is info from Lilly.

There are different offers for MC vs cash pay.

Note the article says insurance plans may be lower.

I get 3 novolog vials for $99 under a similar offer from Nordisk. (Not Medicare. My preference is Novolog and my insurance prefers Humalog)

Walmart also has low cost generic vials, I think about $25-30 per vial, for Novolog and Humalog, and others (Relion brand).

You need to be clear that medicare does have a copay for insulin. If using part d or e there was a fairly step copay for all medications including insulin. If using insulin in a pump and part A, there was also a copay.

You may have had an advantage plan that did not charge copay’s for insulin. Some of these exist. However it is not the experience of everyone.

Today the maximum price per month for insulin should be $35 for almost all medicare recipients. Unless again you have an advantage plan.

Making a broad statement like medicare has no copay is just not true.

They are still pushing for a copay cap on private insurance. They want that for all insulins and all policies, but might focus on pushing the leg at a State level.