Paris-based drug manufacturer Sanofi announced Thursday that it will cap prices of its most-prescribed insulin formulation at $35 for all commercially insured patients, and cut its list price by 78%. 

What You Need To Know

  • Sanofi announced a $35 cap on its insulin Thursday, making it the last of the U.S.'s "big three" insulin manufacturers to place a maximum cost for all insured insulin users

  • The Paris-based company announced that it will cap prices of its most-prescribed insulin formulation at $35 for all commercially insured patients, and cut its list price by 78%

  • Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, the other two manufactures of insulin for the U.S. market, announced price-caps on insulin earlier this month

  • President Joe Biden called for insulin manufacturers to create a $35 price cap to go along with a similar price cap for Medicare recipients mandated by his Inflation Reduction Act, passed into law last year

The move, coming in the wake of insulin price caps by fellow insulin manufacturers Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, brings all three major manufacturers serving the U.S. market in line just a day after President Joe Biden celebrated prescription drug savings from his Inflation Reduction Act.

According to the American Diabetes Association, of more than 37 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes, about 8.4 million use insulin to manage their blood glucose levels.

"We are encouraged that all of the major manufacturers have taken steps to make insulin more affordable, but the fight is not over. We will continue advocating for efforts in Congress and states across the country to ensure insulin is affordable to everyone with diabetes who relies on it to survive," ADA Chief Advocacy Officer Lisa Murdock said in a statement.

In its announcement, Sanofi added that the price-cut will not take effect until Jan. 1, 2024.

Last year’s Inflation Reduction Act capped insulin prices at $35 a month for Medicare recipients. On March 1, Eli Lilly capped out-of-pocket insulin cost for insured patients at $35; Novo Nordisk did the same on Tuesday. 

“America spends more on prescription drugs than any other advanced nation on Earth,” Biden said Wednesday in Las Vegas. “It’s not fair. But after decades of trying to take on big pharma, we finally won.”

Biden’s has used the bully pulpit to pressure insulin manufacturers to lower prices, but his loudest salvo came at the State of the Union in February, when he called for a universal $35 insulin price cap, not just seniors on Medicare.

“Look, there are millions of other Americans who do are not on Medicare, including 200,000 young people with Type 1 diabetes who need this insulin to stay alive,” Biden said. “Let’s finish the job this time. Let’s cap the cost of insulin for everybody at $35.”

On Thursday evening, the White House celebrated Sanofi's announcement by urging Congress to codify the insulin cost caps.

"Congress should still pass legislation to ensure everybody can get insulin for no more than $35 per month, along with a Junk Fee Prevention Act, and legislation to make childcare more affordable and accessible," Biden said in a statement. "What Congress should not do is repeal laws like the Inflation Reduction Act, which would represent one of the biggest Medicare benefit cuts in history and raise costs for prescription drugs, health coverage, and home energy—all to give billionaires a tax cut."

Like Sanofi, Novo Nordisk’s price-cutting measures will not go into effect until Jan. 1. Eli Lilly’s cost-cuts will have a staggered rollout across its line of drugs, starting with immediate $35 out-of-pocket price caps at certain pharmacies, according to Heathline.