Prices for several generic insulins in 2024 could be no more than $30 per vial and no more than $55 for a box of five pen cartridges — only a quarter of what they are today — if Civica Rx has its way. Pending federal approval, the nonprofit consortium of U.S. hospitals plans to manufacture and distribute the generics, continuing its mission to alleviate chronic shortages of inpatient drugs and reduce drug prices.
Civica’s effort is supported by its member hospitals, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and 12 independent BCBS organizations, insurers and philanthropies. With its development partner GeneSys Biologics, Civica will manufacture three generics: glargine, lispro and aspart, each of which will be available in vials and prefilled pens.
If the consortium gets needed Federal Drug Administration licensing approval following its clinical trials, it would begin selling the generics in 2024. The move would be particularly helpful to up to 25% of insulin users who sometimes ration their insulin or skip doses because of high costs, according to a 2019 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Insulin has become inaccessible for many, causing debilitating and preventable illness, the Civica statement notes. This disproportionately impacts people with diabetes who are Native American, Hispanic or Black, because they are more likely to be underinsured or uninsured.
The insulins will be manufactured at Civica’s 140,000 square-foot plant being built in Petersburg, Va. The facility will have the capacity to produce a substantial amount of the insulin needed in the U.S., with additional space to increase production if needed.