PARK CITY – JANUARY 22: A general view of Wal Mart during the 2004 January Sundance Film Festival … [+]
Walmart launched the first private branded analog insulin at a steep discount that saves 59% or 75% of the current cash price of branded insulin products if no insurance is taken out. It’s a real innovation and a dramatic step by Walmart to make insulin affordable for more people.
Approximately 34 million Americans live with diabetes, nearly 10% of the US population. Only 70% of these people are treated. Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease in the United States. Here we see the leadership of Walmart management to solve a serious health problem. It enables Walmart to bring health and wellbeing to all Americans, especially those who live in medically underserved areas.
The insulin costs about $ 73 per vial, or about $ 86 for a pack of pre-filled insulin pens. Savings of approximately $ 101 per branded insulin vial or $ 251 per pack of branded flex pens are reported. CNBC noted that as the number of people with diabetes increased, the cost of the 100-year-old drug has risen rather than fallen, and lawmakers have drawn attention. The annual cost of insulin for people with type 1 diabetes in the United States nearly doubled from $ 2,900 in 2012 to $ 5,700 in 2016.
Walmart worked directly with Novo Nordisk to ensure the savings were passed on to Walmart customers. Dr. Cheryl Pegus, EVP of Walmart’s Health and Wellness, noted that “the trademark was the same quality, safety and effectiveness” as other analog insulins.
Barron’s price increases have seen sales by the dominant insulin providers, which include Eli Lilly and Sanofi, increase by billions. You face competition from generic biosimilars in Europe.
Walmart is developing a strong presence in the health and wellness space. It has opened around 20 freestanding wellness clinics near Walmart Supercenters that offer teeth cleaning, annual checkups, and urgent care. Walmart also bought telemedicine company MeMD to deliver virtual health care, which should be a huge boom for customers in underserved fringe areas.
Walmart pharmacies will start selling the new product this week, with Sam’s Club going to sell it in July.