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Eli Lilly Announces Shortage for Certain Insulin Formations in April

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The shortage is due to a reported manufacturing interruption.

stock.adobe.com

Stock.adobe.com

This could be a difficult spring for people with diabetes.

Eli Lilly announced that two of its brands of insulin will be out stock starting in April. According to a press release,1 the situation is expected to be only temporary, and the company will continue to supply other insulin products during that period.

The 10 mL vials of Humalog and Insulin Lispro Injection will not be in stock for wholesalers starting in April. The company states that they are still manufacturing these products and will begin shipping them again as soon as possible. Other versions of the two drugs, including pre-filled pens, will still be available as well.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Eli Lilly said, “We recognize that any supply challenge may cause a disruption in people’s treatment regimens, and we are moving with urgency to address it. Anyone experiencing difficulty in getting their prescription filled should contact their healthcare provider to discuss switching to the same insulin in a prefilled pen or other insulin treatment options. Additionally, patients may check other pharmacies in their insurance network for available supply. Patients who need insulin immediately and cannot access their healthcare provider for an alternative treatment option should seek emergency care.”

Eli Lilly also says that it understands that the need for insulin amongst its users is vital and says that it takes its responsibility “to supply these medicines seriously.”

Lilly has also capped copays at $35 for its insulin and insulin presentation products. The statement that appears on Lilly’s website does not provide a reason for the shortage, although CNN reports that it is due to a disruption in manufacturing.2

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) describes diabetes as a nationwide epidemic.3 According to the organization, about 11.6% of the US population had diabetes in 2021. It is believed that of that percentage, about 8 million people suffer from the disease but are undiagnosed.

There are an estimated 1.2 million new cases of diabetes each year in America. Also, an estimated 97.6 million Americans have prediabetes.

When it comes to insulin, the ADA says that the cost of insulin increased by 24% from 2017 to 2022. Also, from 2012 to 2022, spending on insulin has tripled. In 2012, spending on insulin was at $8 billion. In just ten years, that number rose to $22.3 billion. Even when adjusting for inflation, the cost of insulin has increased by 26% since 2017.

Sources

  1. Update on Humalog® (insulin lispro injection) and Insulin Lispro Injection 10mL Vial. Eli Lilly. Accessed March 25, 2024. https://www.lilly.com/our-medicines/humalog-and-lispro
  2. Tirrell, Meg. Eli Lilly Warns of Temporary Short Supply of Two Insulin Products. CNN. March 22, 2024. Accessed March 25, 2024. https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/22/health/insulin-shortage-eli-lilly/index.html
  3. About Diabetes: Examine the Facts. American Diabetes Association. https://diabetes.org/about-diabetes/statistics
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