Washington, D.C. – Today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sent the following letter to Paul Hudson, the Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi, urging him to drop the list price of insulin.
In the past few weeks, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk both heeded the call of Senate Democrats and President Biden to voluntarily drop the list price of insulin, moving our country one step closer to ending the insulin affordability crisis. In a new letter today, Majority Leader Schumer urges Sanofi to follow suit – a decision that would save lives, cover almost 90% of the global insulin market, and most importantly, prevent Americans from having to make impossible choices between their health and their survival.
For too long, pharmaceutical companies have pried on consumers by marking up insulin, a life-saving drug discovered a century ago that is exceeding cheap to produce. In the past decade, insulin has seen its price surge sometimes beyond $300 for a month’s supply. Democrats successfully introduced a $35 monthly co-pay cap for seniors on Medicare last Congress and remain committed to working in a bipartisan way to extend that cap to all Americans under the age of 65.
The full text of the letter can be found here and below.
Dear Mr. Hudson:
The exponential spike in the cost of insulin is one of the most unjust health care trends of the past few decades. Its skyrocketing price has led to heart-wrenching scenarios where people are forced into the unconscionable position of choosing between the medicine they need to live, food on the table, or a roof over their head. In a country as prosperous as America, health care should be a fundamental right, and no person should have to decide between taking care of their health and making ends meet.
Democrats prioritized and successfully passed legislation last Congress making insulin more affordable, including a $35 monthly co-pay cap for seniors on Medicare. Unfortunately, there was not bipartisan support for capping co-pays for Americans under the age of 65, but I remain committed to finding a bipartisan path forward on that vital policy.
In the interim, as you undoubtedly know, some insulin manufacturers have in recent weeks heeded my call to lower their prices and make insulin more universally affordable. Eli Lilly dropped its list price for insulin by 70 percent, while also voluntarily capping patient costs at $35 per month. Novo Nordisk shortly followed suit, dropping its list price by 75 percent.
Sanofi, along with Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, represent roughly 90 percent of the global insulin market. Of the big three insulin manufacturers, Sanofi remains the only one not to reduce its insulin prices.
I urge you to expediently follow in the footsteps of the other companies and lower your insulin prices in a similar manner. Doing so will save lives and move our country one step closer to ending our insulin affordability crisis.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate Majority Leader