West Virginians optimistic about cheaper insulin option

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The world’s biggest retailer says it will start selling its own private label insulin this week. Walmart says the price will be 75% lower than competing products.

Walmart announced they will have their own private brand – manufactured by Novo Nordisk, one of only three companies who make the life-saving drug in the United States. “So it’s the same product as Novolog it’s just rebranded for Walmart. Again, a net positive, but why hasn’t Novo Nordisk just reduced their prices?” says Mindy Salang, a Type 1 Diabetic in West Virginia.

Walmart says consumers can save up to 75% on insulin, getting their price down to $73 for a vial, and $86 for a box of pens. Salango adds, “In 2000, when Novolog first came out, it was introduced as $40 per vile. It now lists for $350. However the formulation hasn’t changed.”

Diabetics are saying it’s a big step for those in our region. Sarah Stevens, another Type 1 Diabetic says, “Anything that we can do to make it more affordable to patients is a priority. I’m encouraged by this. I know that Walmart has had previous insulins within their pharmacies that have been cheap to afford.”

They also hope this isn’t the end to lowering prices for healthcare. “So it’s a great stride, however, I just don’t want it to be the last step. Because they obviously have the ability to make money and charge less for their product,” says Salango.

“For West Virginians, Kentuckians, Ohioans, people just within our nation in general, it does signify a step in the right direction when it comes to healthcare affordability,” added Stevens.

According to the CDC, diabetics spend nearly $10,000 a year on diabetic-related products. In the United States, approximately 34.2 million adults have diabetes, including 15% of West Virginia residents.

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