Area residents who need insulin are welcoming the news that the pharmaceutical company Sanofi plans to reduce the price of insulin for qualifying patients to $99 a month.
U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa released the following statement regarding an announcement. “Sanofi’s announcement is a step in the right direction. Millions of Americans with diabetes need insulin to survive. Any time a prescription drug company lowers prices for patients, that’s news I’ll welcome.
“But like Cigna’s announcement on insulin prices last week, this raises a lot of questions. Why was Sanofi charging so much more before this announcement? What took them so long to offer the price reduction?
“It shouldn’t take months of bad press, persistent public outcry and increasing congressional scrutiny to get a company to charge a fair price. That’s not how a functioning marketplace works. And if Sanofi can reduce the price to patients for insulin while still making a profit, I can’t imagine a legitimate reason taxpayers shouldn’t be charged the same price. I’m disappointed Sanofi’s announcement didn’t include a similar commitment to offer Medicare and Medicaid the same price. If Sanofi thinks it can get away with charging the government a higher price than others, that’s not a premise on firm ground.
“Prescription drug companies and pharmacy benefit managers should take very seriously their responsibility to patients and taxpayers. Right now, they’re not. And that’s a status quo that’s not going to last.”
Last month, Grassley and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden of Oregon sent letters to Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi, the three largest insulin manufacturers in the United States, kicking off their bipartisan investigation into insulin prices.
Grassley and Wyden earlier this month sent three letters to leading PBMs, including one to Cigna, regarding their role in the skyrocketing cost of insulin in the United States.