With this series we will bring you the latest news in insulin affordability. This week we cover a Mississippi lawsuit and Walmart's new affordable insulin.
For more news in diabetes advocacy and policy, check out our compiled news updates here.
Earlier in June, the Mississippi attorney general filed a lawsuit against several pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), accusing them of conspiring to artificially increase insulin prices. The Attorney General stated that “I filed this lawsuit on behalf of every Mississipian who relies on this medication to survive. These companies are exploiting the vulnerable.” Insulin manufacturers and PBMs have historically denied claims of artificial price inflation.
Why it matters: This is the first time a state is accusing both insulin manufacturers and PBMs of hiking the price of insulin. A similar lawsuit was filed in Harris County in 2019 but Mississippi is the first to file on behalf of its residents. While many factors contribute to the price of insulin, better understanding the role of manufacturers and PBMs in insulin pricing is vital in reducing the cost of the life saving drug. Learn more here.
A new Novo Nordisk insulin will be sold in Walmart stores that is only $73 for a vial and $86 for a package of prefilled insulin pens. The insulin will be sold through Walmart’s private ReliOn brand as a way to offer an affordable insulin to people with diabetes without health insurance. The drug is available in Walmart stores and will be available in Sam’s Club stores in July.
Why it matters: This is great news for people with diabetes, especially those who are uninsured. People without insurance can now save thousands of dollars on insulin annually by using this new ReliOn version. Given the rising cost of insulin in recent years, more work is needed to ensure all people with diabetes can access the treatments they need to survive. Learn more here.