Insulin syringe and a vial on a table

In conjunction with leading partners in diabetes, advocacy, and healthcare, Breakthrough T1D lends its support to Civica, to help combat a nationwide insulin affordability crisis.

This project will manufacture and distribute low-cost biosimilar insulin options for three of the most-prescribed insulins: glargine (Lantus®), lispro (Humalog®), and aspart (Novolog®). It will enable anyone to purchase insulin at no more than $30/vial or $55/box of five pens, regardless of insurance status. Civica anticipates that the insulins will be available in 2024.

What is a Biosimilar? A biologic drug that is highly similar to the original drug. Biosimilars can be manufactured when the original drug patent expires. An interchangeable biosimilar may be substituted in place of the originally prescribed drug at the pharmacy counter.

Currently, insulin can cost between $175 and $300 a vial and up to $1,000 a month. Studies have shown that these inflated costs can cause up to one-quarter of people with diabetes to skip or ration their insulin [1], potentially leading to medical emergencies, severe complications, or death. Once brought to market, these biosimilars will save lives by significantly lowering the cost of insulin for millions of Americans.

JDRF’s Leadership

Over a 10-year period, the cost of insulin increased threefold [2]. That’s why lowering the cost of insulin is such an important and necessary step, so that no one should have to choose between paying the rent or obtaining this life-saving medication.

Want to read the Civica Insulin Initiative one-pager? Download it here.

Breakthrough T1D has been fighting the rising cost of insulin for years, advocating for both private sector solutions and action in Washington, D.C. Through our Coverage2Control campaign, we have rallied our community to call for insulin manufacturers, health plans, employers, and the government to take action to lower the cost of this life-saving medication. Breakthrough T1D executives have met repeatedly with the leadership of each of the three major insulin manufacturers and called on them to find new ways to lower the price.

While some progress has been made, there is more to be done. Breakthrough T1D will not rest until we have long-term solutions that make this life-saving insulin affordable for everyone, whether someone has private insurance, Medicare, or no insurance at all. Our support of the Civica project addresses a wide-spread issue plaguing far too many people who depend on this medication.

Furthermore, by making insulin more affordable, people will be more likely to follow the course of care prescribed by their healthcare providers, as opposed to thinking about the stress it will put on their wallets.

Hear more about this historic partnership by Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D., CEO of Breakthrough T1D:

1. Herkert D, Vijayakumar P, Luo J, Schwartz JI, Rabin TL, DeFilippo E, Lipska KJ. Cost-Related Insulin Underuse Among Patients With Diabetes. JAMA Intern Med. 2019 Jan 1; 179 (1): 112-114.

2. Hua X, Carvalho N, Tew M, Huang, E, Herman W, Clarke P.  Expenditures and Prices of Antihyperglycemic Medications in the United States: 2002-2013, JAMA, April 5, 2016; 315 (13): 1400-1402.