We know there’s a lot of frustration and anger about the price of insulin. We also know there is much more to do to achieve real change. Novo Nordisk is committed to be an active part of the change that is needed and find real-world solutions for people living with diabetes.

We’re actively engaged with the diabetes community to do our best to address a number of challenging issues. We also understand that for many, change can’t come soon enough. Indeed, policymakers and others are looking to companies like ours for ideas for solving affordability.  Ultimately, any solution should make buying medicines easier for patients, effectively work within the broader healthcare system and be sustainable for innovation. With this in mind, we would like to update you since we last shared our perspective on what’s happened to insulin prices and our ongoing efforts.

It’s our firm belief that medicines should be accessible to all who need them. However, we recognize that to get this done we can’t do it alone. We’re seeking constructive discussions that can help us move the needle towards simplifying our complex healthcare system. Collaboration among pharmaceutical companies, PBMs, insurance companies, employers, patient organizations and policy makers will drive the change that’s needed and ultimately help find sustainable solutions. To date, we have embarked on several efforts that range from proactive internal policy decisions to innovative collaborations and partnerships. We believe these efforts are positive steps, reflecting our values and commitments as an organization, and underscore how we’re dedicated to improving the lives of people living with diabetes. Some of our efforts have included:

  • We joined cost savings programs run by CVS Health and ESI which now make our Novolin line of insulins available for around $25 a vial. (Novolin has been available at Wal-Mart under the Relion brand for years at the same price.) We’re aware of the criticism around only offering human insulin. Given the current healthcare system, more work needs to be done to identify sustainable routes to offer a discount outside of our human insulin line. Learn more about these discount programs.
  • We talked to professional and patient organizations for the diabetes community, and insulin pricing task forces, to share our perspectives and continue to actively listen to their concerns.  
  • Our patient support program offers free medicines. A family of four making up to $103,000 annually could potentially qualify and many have already benefitted from this ongoing program. [We updated this figure in April 2019.]
  • Since first making our pricing pledge in 2016, we’ve kept annual list price increases to single digits in 2017 and 2018.

Are we done? No. Is this enough? No. 

We are committed to not only driving but also putting in place positive change. We know the burden of working within the larger healthcare system can make progress seem slow and we know that sometimes we get it right and sometimes we don’t. But at Novo Nordisk, we won’t give up. This is what makes us who we are.