Florida Blue joins coalition to bring down insulin costs starting in 2024

If approved, Civica would offer insulin at $30 a vial

FILE - In this April 18, 2017 file photo, a woman with Type 2 diabetes prepares to inject herself with insulin at her home in Las Vegas. Overweight or obese Americans should start getting screened for diabetes and prediabetes earlier, at age 35 instead of 40, according to national guidelines updated on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/John Locher) (John Locher, Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

A coalition of health care companies working to bring down the cost of drugs is now targeting insulin for diabetics, and insurance company Florida Blue will join them.

Civica RX was created as a nonprofit by hospitals to create low-cost generic drugs to handle in-patient shortages.

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Civica announced Thursday that it would manufacture and sell generic versions of insulin. Those sales would begin once it completes a new pharmaceutical plant and when licensing from the Food and Drug Administration, according to a report in The Washington Post. Civica is targeting 2024 for sales to begin.

Once that happens, insulin would be available at $30 or less a vial for three analog insulins—glargine, lispro and aspart. These generics are similar to brand name insulins Lantus, Humalog and Novolog.

The drugs would be available at no more than $30 a vial, or $55 for a box of five pens, according to Florida Blue. The company says it already partners with Civica on other manufacturing other generics in an effort to drive down prescription drug prices.

Florida Blue said the first of these drugs will be available to consumers through specialty and home delivery pharmacies later this year.

More than 8 million Americans rely on insulin, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Florida Blue says as many as one in four insulin users report skipping doses because of the high cost.

President Biden denounced drug companies in his State of the Union address Tuesday for the high cost of insulin, and repeated his call to Congress to pass a cap on insulin of $35 per month for Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance customers. It would not help people without insurance.

That cap is stalled because it’s under the Build Back Better initiative. That bill has passed in the House but not the Senate.

About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.