Civica Rx has announced plans to manufacture and distribute insulins that, once approved, will be available to people with diabetes at significantly lower prices than insulins currently on the market. The availability of affordable insulins will benefit people with diabetes who have been forced to choose between life sustaining medicines and living expenses, particularly those uninsured or underinsured who often pay the most out of pocket for their medications.
Nonprofit Civica is collaborating on this effort with partners that represent nearly every corner of the diabetes ecosystem, including Intermountain Healthcare.
“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, Intermountain chief strategy officer, and the innovator behind Civica’s nonprofit business model. “Through mission-driven partnerships, we are choosing to create a new market reality where no one is forced to ration essential diabetes medications.”
Civica will manufacture three types of insulin, which comprise about 80 percent of insulin prescriptions in the United States. The three types, which correspond to Lantus, Humalog, and Novolog, will be offered in vials and disposable pens. Civica insulin will be available in retail and online pharmacies that agree to charge no more than Civica’s recommended price, which will be $30 or less per vial and $55 or less for five insulin pens.
“The current high-priced environment for insulin has resulted in some people being forced to ration the insulin they need,” said Marc Harrison, MD, Intermountain CEO and president. “Long-term complications include heart disease, kidney damage, blindness, and more. But well-controlled diabetes reduces the incidence of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, amputation, and renal failure needing dialysis. This game-changing move by Civica will produce a tremendous health benefit for the millions of individuals who have the disease.”
Intermountain Healthcare helped develop and launch Civica in 2018 to improve the availability and affordability of generic medications routinely used in U.S. hospitals, with a focus on preventing chronic drug shortages and the price spikes that often accompany them. Headquartered in Lehi, Utah, its members now include 1,500 hospitals nationwide, and its medications have been used by 27 million patients. Since its founding, the Civica movement has produced 60 medicines, including some used to fight COVID-19.
Civica’s insulin won’t be available for two more years due to the time it takes to obtain FDA approval and to ramp up production. But because the FDA has already approved similar insulins, the development pathway is clear. Civica will complete all the clinical trials and meet all the standards necessary for FDA approval, and anticipates full approval in early 2024.