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Novo Nordisk to cut some insulin prices by up to 75%

Novo Nordisk plans to slash the U.S. list prices for several of its insulin drugs by as much as 75%, the company said on Tuesday. The move follows Eli Lilly's announcement earlier this month that it would cut prices on some of its insulin products.

Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical firm, said it would reduce the cost of its NovoLog and NovoLog Mix 70/30 products by 75% and of Novolin and Levemir by 65%. The company will also lower list prices of unbranded pre-filled insulin pens, vials of long-acting and short-acting insulin, and pre-mixed insulin products to match the lowered price of each respective branded insulin product, the company said.

The cuts are slated to take effect on Jan. 1, 2024. 

List prices are what a drugmaker initially sets for a product and what people who have no insurance or have health plans with high deductibles are often stuck paying.

"These updates have been in development for many months, but due to increased stakeholder interest we accelerated to announce now," a Novo Nordisk spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch.

Eli Lilly on March 1 said it would slash its insulin prices by 70% and limit customers' out-of-pocket costs to $35 per month. 

Eli Lilly announces cost-cutting and price-capping measures for insulin products 02:17

Civica, a nonprofit pharmaceutical company, announced last year it would produce low-cost versions of three of the most commonly used insulin products in the US. The federal government in January started applying a $35 cap on monthly out-of-pocket costs to patients with coverage through its Medicare program for people age 65 and older or those who have certain disabilities or illnesses.

In the U.S., the price of insulin increased by more than $200 from 2007 to 2018, according to one 2020 study, and patient advocates have long called for lower insulin prices. High insulin costs force many people to ration doses, which can be dangerous for their health. 

Roughly 10% of Americans, some of whom use insulin, suffer from diabetes, according to data from the Diabetes Research Institute.

The Associated Press contributed reporting. 

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