Home Health Drug manufacturer Eli Lilly says two of its diabetes drugs are in short supply – as millions of patients face weeks of chaos

Drug manufacturer Eli Lilly says two of its diabetes drugs are in short supply – as millions of patients face weeks of chaos

0 comment
Drug manufacturer Eli Lilly says two of its diabetes drugs are in short supply - as millions of patients face weeks of chaos

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly announced a temporary shortage of two types of insulin, a medication taken by more than six million Americans.

Patients will have a harder time getting their Humalog and Insulin Lispro shots at wholesalers and pharmacies until early next month, the company said.

In the meantime, patients should discuss switching to a different insulin treatment, which is easier said than done, given the various hoops insurance companies can make patients jump through to obtain it.

The company added that it continues to manufacture the products and will ship them “as soon as we can” without offering an explanation for the cause of the delay.

Diabetes medication shortages are nothing new. The most recent example concerns NovoNordisk’s drug Ozempic, originally designed to help the pancreas produce more insulin, but which gained meteoric popularity for its amazing weight loss benefits.


Most wholesalers and pharmacies will be short of stock for at least a couple of weeks, putting the lives of millions of people at risk. According to data analysis firm IQVIA, more than six million units of injectable insulin lispro, the type affected by the recall, were sold over the past three months.

Lilly said: “We recognize that any supply challenges can cause disruption to people’s treatment regimens and we are acting urgently to address them.” Anyone having difficulty filling their prescription should contact their healthcare provider to discuss switching to the same insulin in a prefilled pen or other insulin treatment options.

But insurance plans may not cover certain types of insulin, including pens, which could cost about $140 per pen.

Diabetics need insulin to live and many will die without it. Without hours, the body produces a ketone overload by breaking down fat for fuel. They can build up in the body to dangerous levels that cause diabetic ketoacidosis, which can lead to coma or even death.

The United States is in the midst of an obesity epidemic that is driving up rates of type 2 diabetes. More than 38 million Americans have diabetes, or nearly 12 percent of the population.

This represents an increase from approximately 22.3 million in 2014, and is is expected to increase to at least 60.6 million in 2060.

About eight million Americans rely on insulin to treat the condition and avoid complications ranging from kidney failure to heart disease.

And with a growing population, more and more Americans will need insulin to manage new cases of this condition.

About 79 million Americans will need insulin by 2030, but only half of them will have easy access to the treatment, according to a modeling study published in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

The shortage that Lilly is currently experiencing may be affecting millions, as it is one of the top three insulin manufacturers in the country, along with NovoNordisk and Sanofi.

The three companies represent 90 percent of the global insulin market and almost 100 percent insulin delivery. In the USA.

Eli Lilly has not said why it sees this shortage

The shortage will only affect insulin vials, not pens, which doctors hope will help alleviate some of the panic people may be experiencing.

Dr. David Ahn, a California-based diabetes specialist, saying: ‘Many publications forget to include this fact and I worry that unnecessary panic could make the situation worse. Remember the great toilet paper rush of 2020?

Supply shortages are far from the only problem diabetics have faced in the last year. Insulin prices have continued to rise, even though it is cheap to produce: around $4. But when adjusted for inflation, Eli Lilly’s list price for Humalog increased by approximately 680 percentto $275 per vial in 2018, since it began being sold in the US in 1996.

However, manufacturers limited the price of several types to $35 a month, a salvation for millions of people. More than a million Americans have said they ration their insulin supplies to save money.

You may also like