Accessibility Statement

Get Insulin Informed

February 15, 2023    Posted by: Eli Lilly and Company


For millions of people with diabetes, insulin is a necessary, lifesaving medicine. Over the last century, Lilly has invested billions of research dollars to make insulin safer, more effective, and easier to use, thereby improving and extending countless lives. As part of our commitment to people with diabetes, we have created programs to help ensure anyone – regardless of income or insurance status – can afford our insulins.

To create sustainable solutions that improve insulin access and affordability, it is important that all insulin stakeholders, including policymakers, consumers and healthcare providers, understand the facts surrounding this complex issue.

Below are key facts to help debunk myths:

Fact 1: Every Lilly insulin is available for $35 per month or less.1

Whether uninsured, or insured with commercial insurance, Medicaid, or enrolled in a participating Medicare Part D plan, anyone can buy their monthly prescription of Lilly insulin for $35 or less regardless of the number of pens or vials they use.

Lilly has simple-to-use programs designed to help people with diabetes. People without insurance or with commercial insurance can instantly download the $35 Lilly Insulin Value Program copay card from and use it immediately at their retail pharmacy.

Fact 2: People pay an average of $20.48 per month for Lilly insulin.2

Over the past five years, the average price people pay for Lilly insulin has decreased by 47%. Today, the average monthly out-of-pocket cost for Lilly insulin is $20.48.

The claim that pharmaceutical companies are raising list prices on insulin year after year is not true for Lilly – we haven’t increased the list price for any of our insulins since 2017, and since then our only list price changes have been reductions. And the net price for Lilly insulin has continued to decrease over the past four years.

Fact 3: A century of innovation took us from the first animal-based insulin to today’s modern insulins.

Modern insulins have improved substantially since 1923, when Lilly brought the first commercial animal-based insulin, Iletin, to market.

Fact 4: Lilly continues to transform diabetes care through innovation.

We continue to invest significantly in breakthrough R&D programs to improve insulin and to leverage digital innovations that improve care decisions for people with diabetes:

  • Our first connected care platform is a technology that aims to help adults living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and clinicians make informed, data-backed decisions to manage treatment with Lilly insulins. It will be available in 2023.

  • Lilly's novel once-weekly insulin is on track to progress to phase 3 studies in 2023.

  • We are advancing a new generation of potentially groundbreaking insulin medicines with our pre-clinical efforts in glucose-sensing insulin, which could automatically activate medication as needed throughout the day.

  • Lilly is conducting a first-ever, innovative fixed dose trial design – which would revolutionize how insulin is initiated and administered.

Fact 5: Lilly cut list prices for its unbranded insulins, effectively lowering them to 2008 levels.

Lilly launched our unbranded insulins at a 50% lower list price than their branded counterparts, and subsequently reduced their list prices to 70% off. These unbranded insulins have approximately half the formulary access as their branded counterparts.4 A formulary is a listing of medicines covered by insurance. A medicine “not on formulary” is a significant barrier to access.

The insulin delivery chain is complex and it’s important to remember that manufacturers do not sell their medicines directly to consumers. Manufacturers establish a list price, known as wholesale acquisition cost, and medicines weave through a complex supply chain that includes not only wholesalers but also payers, pharmacy benefit managers, the U.S. government, pharmacies, and other entities that ultimately sell to consumers. 

The list price is just one variable that payers and their customers use to determine formulary coverage. Importantly, for most patients, the list price doesn’t influence their out-of-pocket cost as that is determined by the benefit design of a patient’s insurance.

Fact 6: Most insulins are not patent protected, yet generic manufacturers have not entered the market.

The patent for Lilly’s most prescribed insulin expired in 2014, and none of Lilly’s other most commonly used insulins are patent protected either.

The barriers to entry for the insulin market are much higher than for traditional small molecule pills because insulin is more difficult and expensive to manufacture. Generic manufacturers may have chosen not to enter the insulin market as a result.

Lilly supports generic and biosimilar market competition when patents expire.

These six facts are important to understand as we continue to work with policymakers and the healthcare industry toward solutions for greater insulin affordability and access. We’re actively advocating for and participating in the process of driving systemic change. We support the restructuring of financial incentives for the entire pharmaceutical supply chain to ensure patients benefit from rebates and discounts we provide.

Until there is sustainable reform that ensures everyone who relies on insulin can access it affordably, we will continue to offer our own programs to help anyone who needs them. Anyone paying more than $35 per month for Lilly insulin can go to to find the best option for them or call the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center at (833) 808-1234.

1 Automatically applied at the majority of retail pharmacies for those with commercial insurance. Government restrictions exclude people enrolled in federal government insurance programs from Lilly's $35 solutions. But federal law provides that Medicare Part D beneficiaries also pay no more than $35 per month for insulin.

2 At retail pharmacies; IQVIA, Commercial Analytics LAAD 2022

3 Cooper, T. and Ainsburg, A., (2010) Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle, New York, St. Martin Press

4 MMIT, Feb 10, 2023.