Civica’s Plan for Affordable Insulin Proves we can Bring Transparency to the Drug Market

March 4, 2022

Civica Inc. this week announced plans to manufacture and distribute insulin drugs that will be available to people with diabetes at dramatically lower prices than those currently on the market. Kevin Schulman MD, director of Industry Partnerships and Education at CERC and an advisor to Civica, said the drug industry was in dire need of a new business model for a critical medication used by millions.

“It’s an exciting effort to really transform the business model of the outpatient pharmacy market,” Schulman said. “This effort makes clear that the challenge in the US is not the cost of goods of manufacturing, but the distorted and hidden payment models throughout the market.”

Given the unpredictable and often exorbitant price of insulin today, people with diabetes – particularly those who are uninsured – sometimes must choose between life sustaining medicines and paying their rent and other living expenses. Schulman, a leading voice for reasonable and consistent pricing and quality of generic drugs, has published extensively on role of pharmaceutical benefit managers, the intermediaries that make enormous profits from rebates paid by drug manufacturers. He has long asserted that the free market isn’t working for generic drugs, where more oversight is need, particularly of overseas factories.

The nonprofit Civica was created in 2018 to prevent price hikes make quality generic medicines accessible and affordable to everyone. The recommended price for Civica’s insulin drugs will be priced no more than $30 per vial and no more than $55 for a box of five pen cartridges, a significant discount from what uninsured individuals are forced to pay today. Civica will produce three insulins – glargine, lispro and aspart, which correspond to Lantus, Humalog and Novolog respectively.

  -           Laurie Flynn