Novo Nordisk Plans Authorized Generic Insulins for Early 2020

Insulin maker Novo Nordisk has announced that, in January of 2020, it will launch authorized generics of its NovoLog (insulin aspart) and NovoLog Mix (insulin aspart protamine and insulin aspart) products. Notably, the authorized generics will become available before the March 2020 transition of insulins to regulation as biologics and biosimilars rather than drugs and generics.
The Center for Biosimilars Staff
September 12, 2019
Insulin maker Novo Nordisk has announced that, in January of 2020, it will launch authorized generics of its NovoLog (insulin aspart) and NovoLog Mix (insulin aspart protamine and insulin aspart) products.

The generics will be available at a 50% list price discount versus the currently marketed products; for insulin aspart, a 10-mL vial of will be priced at $144.68, a box of 5 Penfill devices will be $268.73, and a box of 5 FlexPen devices will be $279.41.

For insulin aspart mix, a 10-mL vial will be $150.06, and a box of 5 FlexPens will be $279.41.

According to a statement by Novo Nordisk, “While we will continue to do what we can to help address affordability challenges in the short-term, changes within the system are required to make sustainable and meaningful affordability a reality.”

Notably, the authorized generics will become available before the March 2020 transition of insulins to regulation as biologics and biosimilars rather than drugs and generics.

Also beginning in 2020 will be a cash card program for analog insulins that will allow patients to purchase up to 3 vials or 2 packs of pens for any combination of insulins for a flat fee of $99. According to the drug maker, this quantity of insulin is adequate for most patients to cover their needs for one month.

These new offerings are additions to existing programs, including a patient assistance program that has been in place since 2003 and a copay savings card that helps commercially insured patients to defray costs.

Novo Nordisk’s move comes not long after fellow insulin maker, Eli Lilly, launched an authorized generic of its insulin lispro, Humalog. The generic carries a list price ($137.35 per vial and $265.20 for a package of 5 pens) that is 50% lower than that of the brand-name Humalog injection.

While the rollout of the cheaper products has been touted by drug makers as part of a solution to the high cost of insulin for US patients, the use Lilly’s authorized generic has been low, at just 3% of insurance claims, and some patients have reported that they have had difficulty finding the generic option in their local pharmacies.

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