Novo Nordisk to offer free, one-time supply of insulin to people in immediate need

Novo Nordisk said on Thursday it would offer free, one-time supply of insulin to people in immediate need and at risk of rationing the medication, the rising price of which has attracted fierce criticism from lawmakers and regulators.

Novo said patients with prescription can get a free, one-time supply of up to three vials or two packs of pens of its insulin, after which they should find a longer-term solution from its other affordability offerings, reports Reuters.

The drugmaker said in September U.S. patients can buy three vials or two packs of pens of its analog insulins for $99, following similar moves by rivals Sanofi SA and Eli Lilly and Co.

The cost of insulin for treating type 1 diabetes in the United States had nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016, leading some patients to put their health at risk by rationing the medication.

Last year, following heavy criticism over the prices, Eli Lilly started selling a half-price version of its Humalog insulin and Sanofi said it would cut the cost of its insulin products to $99 per month for some patients.

Novo on Thursday also announced the launch of cheaper versions of its heavily prescribed insulin drug, Novolog.

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