California, drugmaker partners to produce affordable insulin

California, drugmaker partners to produce affordable insulin

DOWNEY, Calif. (AP) – The state of California and a generic drug maker announced Saturday a 10-year partnership to produce affordable, state-branded insulin that they hope will rival longtime manufacturers and lower the cost of the drug used by millions. the americans

The product isn’t expected on store shelves until at least next year, and it was hard to predict what impact it would have on a market already shaken by the change. Earlier this week another major insulin maker pledged steep price cuts as it piled pressure on drugmakers and insurers to cut prices.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said he expects California’s rise as an insulin manufacturer to prompt a drop in prices. Studies have shown that drugs have a price Three times more In the last few decades.

“We intend to make this about market disruption,” Newsom said at a ceremony announcing the deal at a pharmaceutical warehouse near Los Angeles. He called it “a game changer” for the 8 million Americans who use insulin to treat diabetes.

Many questions remain. State and its partners, non-profit citizens, Can still locate a California based manufacturing facility. Regulatory approval will be required. Newsom said a 10-milliliter vial of state-brand insulin would sell for $30, but that could lead to potential competitors lowering their prices and undercutting the state product.

“Is this perfect? ​​We don’t know yet,” Newsom admitted at one point.

A few days ago, President Joe Biden said his administration is “intensely” focused on reducing healthcare costs, including pressuring pharmaceutical companies to reduce the cost of insulin. Legislation last year made insulin available for Medicare beneficiaries at $35 per month. Biden has proposed expanding that cap to all Americans.

Novo Nordisk said Tuesday It will be slash Some of its US insulin prices are up to 75% from next year. The announcement comes less than two weeks after rival Eli Lilly announced it would cut some of its prices by 70% or more later this year.

Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a statewide consumer health care advocacy group, welcomed Newsom’s announcement, saying efforts by California and others to develop competing generics could be a reason for insulin makers to lower their prices.

Still there are obstacles.

“The task of developing a generic, obtaining FDA approval and setting up manufacturing will take real time,” Wright said in an email. “Physicians can spend more time trying to prescribe the drug, insurers and (pharmacy benefit managers) to include it on their formularies and to get patients and the public to take it and ask for it.”

There may be other risks. State analysts warned A potentially unintended consequence is that California’s entry into the market could prompt other manufacturers to reduce the availability of their drugs.

State legislators 100 million dollars is approved For this project last year, $50 million was dedicated to the development of three types of insulin and the rest was set aside to invest in a manufacturing facility.

Even with the challenges of entering a competitive, established market, Newsom said taxpayers would have “very substantial protections.”

If for some reason the agreement doesn’t work out to the state’s advantage, “there are all kinds of provisions that allow us to … withdraw,” he said.

The proposed program could save many patients between $2,000 and $4,000 a year, according to state documents. Additionally, lower costs can result in substantial savings as the state buys products for millions of people each year in its publicly funded health plans.

The state is also exploring the possibility of bringing other drugs into the market, including overdose drugs Naloxone. The drug, available as a nasal spray and in an injectable form, is considered a key tool in the fight against the nationwide overdose crisis.

“We’re not stopping here,” Newsom said.

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