Civica to manufacture and distribute three insulins for $30 or less per vial
Today, Independence Blue Cross, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), and other Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies joined Civica’s initiative to manufacture and distribute affordable insulins that, once approved, will be available to people living with diabetes at significantly lower prices than insulins currently on the market. The medications are expected to be available to all consumers for $30 or less per vial starting in 2024.
Independence Blue Cross, BCBSA, and BCBS companies are collaborating on this initiative with Civica and other partners across the health care industry, representing nearly every corner of the diabetes ecosystem.
“The high cost of insulin can make living a healthy life a daily struggle for people who have diabetes. Having access to life-saving drugs shouldn’t be tied to anyone’s socio-economic circumstances. We have to lower pharmacy costs and make health care more equitable and affordable,” said Susan Larkin, senior vice president, Health Markets, Independence Blue Cross.
“This is an important milestone in our continued partnership with Civica as we advance our shared goal of bringing lower-cost prescription medication directly to consumers,” said Kim Keck, president and CEO of BCBSA. “Access to affordable insulin can be the difference between life and death for diabetics — and we’re proud to be a part of Civica’s effort to ensure that millions of Americans have access to the medicine they need at a price they can afford. When we come together, we can make health care more affordable.”
More than 8 million Americans rely on insulin to live, but as many as one in four insulin users report having to skip doses or take less than prescribed amounts due to the high cost of the medicine. The financial burden has made the drug inaccessible for many and has led to patients developing health conditions that were once preventable.
Through this initiative, Civica will manufacture and distribute three analog insulins — glargine, lispro, and aspart — which will be biosimilar drugs of the brand-name insulins Lantus, Humalog, and Novolog. The insulins will be available in vials and prefilled pens at no more than $30 per vial or $55 for a box of five pens.
“Diabetes is arguably America’s most expensive chronic condition, and it is heartbreaking that millions of people are rationing their care and putting their lives at risk because they can no longer afford insulin,” said Dan Liljenquist, board chair of Civica. “Through mission-driven partnerships, we are choosing to create a new market reality where no one is forced to ration essential diabetes medications.”
This insulin initiative is one of the many ways BCBS companies are partnering with Civica to increase access to safe and affordable medications. This announcement follows the founding of Civica’s subsidiary, CivicaScript, by BCBSA, 18 BCBS companies, and Civica Rx to develop and manufacture common generic medications for which there is currently not enough market competition to drive down prices. The first of these lower-cost generic prescriptions are expected to be available to consumers through specialty and home delivery pharmacies later this year.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurance organization in southeastern Pennsylvania. For more than 80 years, we have been enhancing the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve. We deliver innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneer new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and support programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more, visit ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 34 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans.
JAMA, Cost-Related Insulin Underuse Among Patients with Diabetes, 2019; CDC NHIS Study, 2020