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Press Release

Lilly Announces Program to Provide Insulin at Discounted Prices

Dec 13, 2016, 06:30 ET

Starting January 1, people who pay the highest out-of-pocket prices for insulin, such as those who pay full retail price at the pharmacy, may directly benefit from 40 percent discount

INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) today announced that people who use Lilly insulin will be able to access discounted prices for their purchases starting January 1, 2017 via mobile and web platforms hosted by Blink Health. The discounts, provided by Lilly through a partnership with Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX), may reduce costs for people who pay full retail prices at the pharmacy, such as those who have no insurance or are in the deductible phase of their high-deductible insurance plans. 

Changes in insurance benefit design have increased the cost of insulin for some people. While discounts and rebates paid by manufacturers make insulin affordable for most people, they don't directly help the uninsured or people in the deductible phase of their high-deductible plans. And while some high-deductible plans exempt insulin from the deductible phase, others require people to pay most or all of the retail price until the deductible is met - meaning these people don't fully benefit from rebates when they visit the pharmacy.

By using the Blink Health platforms, people who pay full price for most Lilly insulins may save 40 percent. This discount program will be the first time branded medicines will be discounted via the Blink Health platform, which has previously only been used for generic prescription drugs.  

"We understand the burden people face when paying full price for insulin," said Mike Mason, vice president, Lilly Diabetes. "This platform will effectively allow Lilly to lower our insulin retail prices for users of this platform while not affecting the reimbursement system for other people living with diabetes."

Lilly has met with multiple leaders in the diabetes community, including leading advocacy groups and people with diabetes, about the price of insulin for several months. Lilly and Express Scripts started working on options for people who pay full retail price earlier this fall. Enrique Conterno, president of Lilly Diabetes, said today's announcement will hopefully drive additional change within the health care system for people who use insulin.

"The health care system is incredibly complex, and we hope this program is a first step that will drive more thinking and innovative solutions for people with diabetes," Conterno said. "A more extensive solution will require leadership and cooperation across many stakeholders, including manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, insurers and patients.  We're committed to seeking additional solutions so that everyone who uses insulin has reasonable access."

The starting point of the offer will coincide with the new deductible period for many health plans on January 1, 2017. The program includes all presentations of Humalog® (insulin lispro injection 100 units/mL) available at pharmacies, all Humulin® U100 formulations (insulin human injection 100 units/mL), and BASAGLAR® (insulin glargine injection 100 units/mL), a long-acting follow-on biologic being introduced this month by Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim.

People who use the platform will go outside their health plan to realize the savings, which means the new retail price may not be applied to annual deductibles. Anyone considering the platform should compare the benefits to their current prescription insurance options before deciding which program is best for them.

How does it work?
Program participation requires only a few simple steps. People can use a smart phone app or the Blink Health website,, which has no membership fees or monthly premiums. People will enter the form, dosage and quantity of Lilly insulin that matches their prescription. The discount will be automatically applied. Payments are made online and the prescriptions can be picked up at virtually any U.S. pharmacy, including: Walgreens, CVS/pharmacy, Target, RiteAid, Safeway and Kroger. People whose prescription claims are reimbursed by any government program are not eligible. Purchases are fully refundable.

Lilly will keep the public updated on details of the program through our Twitter handles, @LillyDiabetes and @LillyPad, and other digital channels.

Product Indications
HUMALOG is a rapid-acting human insulin analog indicated to improve glycemic control in adults and children with diabetes mellitus. Humalog Mix50/50™ (50% insulin lispro protamine suspension and 50% insulin lispro injection) and Humalog Mix75/25™ (75% insulin lispro protamine suspension and 25% insulin lispro injection) are products indicated in the treatment of patients with diabetes mellitus for the control of hyperglycemia.

BASAGLAR is a long-acting, man-made insulin indicated to control high blood sugar in adults and children with type 1 diabetes and adults with type 2 diabetes.

BASAGLAR should not be used to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.


Basaglar [(insulin glargine injection)], Humalog [100 units/mL and 200 units/mL] [(insulin lispro injection)], Humalog Mix50/50 [(50% insulin lispro protamine suspension and 50% insulin lispro injection)] and Humalog Mix75/25 [(75% insulin lispro protamine suspension and 25% insulin lispro injection)] are contraindicated during episodes of hypoglycemia and in patients with hypersensitivity to insulin glargine, insulin lispro or any of their excipients. 

Never share any insulin KwikPen, cartridge, reusable pen [compatible with Lilly 3mL cartridges], vial or syringe between patients, even if the needle is changed. Sharing poses a risk for transmission of blood-borne pathogens.

Changes in insulin strength, manufacturer, type, or method of administration may affect glycemic control and predispose patients to hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. These changes should be made cautiously and only under close medical supervision and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring should be increased. For patients with type 2 diabetes, dosage adjustments of concomitant anti-diabetic products may be needed.

Hypoglycemia is the most common adverse reaction associated with insulins, including Basaglar, Humalog [100 units/mL and 200 units/mL], Humalog Mix50/50 and Humalog Mix75/25. Severe hypoglycemia can cause seizures, may be life threatening, or cause death.

Accidental mix-ups between insulin glargine (100 units/mL) or basal insulin products and other insulins, particularly rapid-acting insulins, have been reported. To avoid medication errors between insulins, instruct patients to always check the insulin label before each injection to confirm that the correct insulin is dispensed, including the correct insulin brand and concentration. 

Severe, life-threatening, generalized allergy, including anaphylaxis, can occur with insulin products, including Basaglar, Humalog [100 units/mL and 200 units/mL], Humalog Mix50/50 and Humalog Mix75/25. If hypersensitivity reactions occur, discontinue use; treat per standard of care and monitor until symptoms and signs resolve.

All insulin products, including Basaglar, Humalog [100 units/mL and 200 units/mL], Humalog Mix50/50 and Humalog Mix75/25 cause a shift in potassium from the extracellular to intracellular space, possibly leading to hypokalemia. Untreated hypokalemia may cause respiratory paralysis, ventricular arrhythmia, and death. Monitor potassium levels in patients at risk for hypokalemia if indicated.

Thiazolidinediones (TZDs), which are peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-gamma agonists, can cause dose-related fluid retention, particularly when used in combination with insulin. Fluid retention may lead to or exacerbate heart failure. Patients treated with insulin, including Basaglar, Humalog [100 units/mL and 200 units/mL], Humalog Mix50/50, Humalog Mix75/25, and a PPAR-gamma agonist should be observed for signs and symptoms of heart failure. If heart failure develops, dosage reduction or discontinuation of TZD must be considered.

Malfunction of an insulin pump device using Humalog U-100, infusion set, or insulin degradation can rapidly lead to hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis. Patients using subcutaneous insulin infusion pumps must be trained to administer insulin by injection and have alternate insulin therapy available in case of pump failure.

Adverse reactions commonly associated with insulin glargine products, Humalog [100 units/mL and 200 units/mL], Humalog Mix50/50and Humalog Mix75/25 are hypoglycemia, allergic reactions, injection site reactions, lipodystrophy, and weight gain.

Other adverse reactions commonly associated with:

  • Insulin glargine products:  pruritus, rash, and edema.
  • Humalog [100 units/mL and 200 units/mL]: hypokalemia, pruritus, rash, and peripheral edema.

Certain drugs may affect glucose metabolism, requiring insulin dose adjustment and close monitoring of blood glucose. The signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia may be blunted when beta-blockers, clonidine, guanethidine, and reserpine are co-administered with Basaglar.


For more information, please click any of the following to access Full Prescribing Information and Patient Information.

Click to access BASAGLAR Full Prescribing Information and Patient Information

Click to access Humalog U100 Full Prescribing Information and Patient Information

Click to access Humalog U200 Full Prescribing Information and Patient Information

Click to access Humalog Mix 50/50 Full Prescribing Information and Patient Information

Click to access Humalog Mix 75/25 Full Prescribing Information and Patient Information

Click to access Humulin N Full Prescribing Information and Patient Information

Click to access Humulin 70/30 Full Prescribing Information and Patient Information

Click to access Humulin R Full Prescribing Information and Patient Information

About Diabetes
Approximately 29 million Americans1 and an estimated 415 million people worldwide have type 1 and type 2 diabetes.2 Type 2 diabetes is the most common type, accounting for an estimated 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases.  Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body does not either properly produce or use the hormone insulin.1

About Lilly Diabetes
Lilly has been a global leader in diabetes care since 1923, when we introduced the world's first commercial insulin. Today we work to meet the diverse needs of people with diabetes through research and collaboration, a broad and growing product portfolio and a continued commitment to providing real solutions-from medicines to support programs and more-to make lives better. For more information, visit and @LillyDiabetes.

About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at and

Humulin®, Humalog® and Basaglar® are registered trademarks of Eli Lilly and Company.


PP-LD-US-1007 12/2016 ©LillyUSA, LLC 2016. All rights reserved.


1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014. [Revised link April 2018:] [original link is dead: Available at: . October 2014.]
2 International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 7th edn. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2015.

Refer to:
Greg Kueterman (317) 432-5195
Julie Williams (317) 627-4056


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From Eli Lilly and Company

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This page was new at D-is-for-Diabetes on December 14, 2016. A link to a CDC report was updated April 28, 2018.

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