The company announced its plans in March amid growing concerns about the soaring prices of drugs, insulin in particular.
The prices have led many people with diabetes to cut back on their insulin in order to save on costs, in some cases leading to harmful or even deadly complications.
At 50% the list price of Humalog, the generic insulin lispro carries a list price of $137.35 per vial, the company said, or $265.20 for a pack of five pens. Brand-name Humalog will remain on the market.
The company says it expects people who are uninsured or on high-deductible plans to benefit. Mike Mason, senior vice president of connected care and insulins at Eli Lilly, said it’s one way the company hopes to lower insulin costs “until a more sustainable solution is achieved.”
“Humalog isn’t thirteen times as effective as it used to be,” Wyden said. “A vial doesn’t last thirteen times longer than it did in 1996.”
“Charging nearly $140 for a vial of insulin — a drug that was invented almost a century ago — is still too high,” Ben Wakana, executive director of the nonprofit Patients For Affordable Drugs, said in a statement in March, when Eli Lilly announced the move. “Millions of Americans with Medicare or employer coverage will continue to face Eli Lilly’s exorbitant list price.
“We need systematic changes to fix the broken insulin market to finally solve America’s insulin affordability crisis.”
CNN’s Wayne Drash, Jacqueline Howard, Tami Luhby and Susan Scutti contributed to this report.