Civica plans to launch low-cost insulin in the U.S.

More than 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, according to the U.S. CDC.

Civica, a non-profit drugmaker, said last Thursday that it aims to launch lower-cost versions of insulin in the United States (U.S.) by 2024, to aid diabetes patients who are dealing with high insulin prices. Civica, which was founded in 2018 to develop generic drugs, announced that once approved by U.S. health regulators, it would produce three replica copies of insulin and make them available to all consumers at roughly the same price. The company's products are biosimilar to Sanofi SA's Lantus, Eli Lilly and Co's Humalog, and Novo Nordisk's Novolog, and would be available in both vials and pre-filled pens. The maximum price for all three Civica products would be $30 per vial and $55 for a box of five pen cartridges, according to the company.

Sanofi, Lilly, and Novo Nordisk have long dominated the diabetic market in the U.S., but lawmakers are now questioning why the almost 100-year-old medication's price has climbed so quickly. "Diabetes is arguably America's most expensive chronic condition, and it is heartbreaking that millions of people are rationing their care and putting their lives at risk because they can no longer afford insulin," said Dan Liljenquist, board chair of Civica and the innovator behind Civica's nonprofit business model. Civica, which was founded by seven health systems, including HCA Healthcare and the Mayo Clinic, to make essential medicines more inexpensive, is starting clinical trials for its insulins this year and plans to seek for regulatory approval in 2023.