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California Partners with Pharmaceutical Companies to Produce Affordable Insulin

state of California and generic drug makers on Saturday announced a 10-year partnership to produce affordable state-branded insulin. American.

The product is not expected to hit stores until at least next year, and it was difficult to predict what impact the change would have on an already reeling market. promised a significant price reduction.

Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom He said he hopes California’s rise as an insulin maker will cause prices to crash. Research shows that the drug’s price has more than tripled in the last few decades.

“We’re going to do this on market turmoil,” Newsom said at the deal’s announcement ceremony at a drug warehouse near Los Angeles. He called it a “game changer” for the 8 million Americans living in the United States.

Many questions remain. The state and its nonprofit partner, Civica, have yet to locate a California-based manufacturing facility. Regulatory approval is required. Newsom said his 10-milliliter vial of state-owned insulin would sell for his $30, but competitors could slash prices and undercut state-owned products.

“Is this perfect? ​​I don’t know yet,” Newsome admitted at one point.

Just days ago, President Joe Biden said his administration was “very” focused on cutting healthcare costs, including putting pressure on pharmaceutical companies to lower the cost of insulin. A law enacted last year capped Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket insulin costs to $35 a month. Biden has proposed extending that cap to all Americans.

Novo Nordisk announced Tuesday it will cut some U.S. insulin prices by up to 75% starting next year. The announcement comes less than two weeks after his rival, Eli Lilly, announced that he would cut some prices by more than 70% later this year.

Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a statewide consumer health care advocacy group, welcomed Newsom’s announcement, saying California’s and others’ efforts to develop a competing generic could benefit insulin manufacturers. He said that it was highly likely that this would be a factor in lowering prices.

Still, there are obstacles.

“The work of developing a generic, getting it approved by the FDA, and starting manufacturing takes real time,” Wright said in an email. Efforts by companies and[pharmacy benefit managers]to include it in their formularies and to get patients and the public to accept and demand it may take longer.”

There may be other risks. State analysts warn that California’s entry into the market could reduce the availability of their drugs for other manufacturers, with unintended consequences. .

The state legislature approved $100 million for the project last year, $50 million to develop three insulins and the rest to invest in manufacturing facilities.

Newsom said taxpayers have “very good protection” even with the challenges of entering a competitive and established market.

If for some reason the deal isn’t in the state’s interest, “there are all sorts of provisions that allow withdrawal,” he said.

The proposed program could save many patients $2,000 to $4,000 annually, according to state documents. Additionally, the state buys products for millions of people with publicly funded health insurance each year, so reducing costs can translate into significant savings.

The state is also exploring the possibility of marketing other drugs, including the overdose drug naloxone. considered an important tool in

“We are not stopping here,” Newsom said.

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