Jenna Moon
Jenna Moon
Mar 1, 2023, 10:35am EST
North America

How U.S. insulin prices compare to the rest of the world

 Boxes of the drug Humalog, made by Eli Lilly and Company, sit on a counter at a pharmacy in Provo, Utah, U.S. January 9, 2020. REUTERS/George Frey/File Photo
REUTERS/George Frey/File Photo

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The News

U.S. pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly announced Wednesday that it would cut the price of its insulin products by 70%. Its lowest-priced product, an unbranded version, will now retail for $25 per vial. The new price will come into effect in May.

The company’s other products will also see a price reduction: Humalog, the most-prescribed insulin sold by Eli Lilly, will see a 70% reduction by the end of the year, though the company did not clarify the expected unit pricing per vial.

The price decrease is a marked departure from historically high insulin costs in the U.S., where the drug's prices are around four times higher than other nations.

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Know More

In 2019, Humalog cost $332 per vial in the U.S., a price increase of 1000% from 1999, a 2020 study found. In Canada, Humalog costs around $44 per vial.

According to 2018 data from American nonprofit RAND, the price per unit of insulin in the U.S — $98.70 — is roughly four times higher than other countries.

Chile, which sells insulin for $21.48, ranks the second-highest when compared to America, coming in at less than a quarter of the price.

Here's how much insulin costs in other countries, per 2018 data:

  • The U.K — $7.52
  • Norway — $7.79
  • Turkey — $2.64
  • Mexico — $16.48
  • Japan — $14.40