Today, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and other Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies joined Civica’s initiative to manufacture and distribute affordable insulins that, once approved, will be available to people living with diabetes at significantly lower prices than insulins currently on the market. The medications are expected to be available to all consumers for $30 or less per vial starting in 2024.
Excellus BCBS, BCBSA and BCBS companies are collaborating on this initiative with Civica and other partners across the health care industry, representing nearly every corner of the diabetes ecosystem.
“We’re proud to be part of this national collaboration to bring more affordable insulin and other medications to our communities,” said Mona Chitre, Pharm.D., chief pharmacy officer and vice president of Integrated Health Strategy for Excellus BCBS. “The Civica initiative will help us fulfill our critical role of controlling rising health care costs while also ensuring that more patients take their medication as prescribed since their prescription drugs will now be more affordable.”
“This is an important milestone in our continued partnership with Civica as we advance our shared goal of bringing lower-cost prescription medication directly to consumers,” said Kim Keck, president and CEO of BCBSA. “Access to affordable insulin can be the difference between life and death for diabetics – and we’re proud to be a part of Civica’s effort to ensure that millions of Americans have access to the medicine they need at a price they can afford. When we come together, we can make health care more affordable.”
More than eight million Americans rely on insulin to live, but as many as one in four insulin users report having to skip doses or take less than prescribed amounts due to the high cost of the medicine. The financial burden has made the drug inaccessible for many and has led to patients developing health conditions that were once preventable.
Through this initiative, Civica will manufacture and distribute three analog insulins – glargine, lispro and aspart – which will be biosimilar drugs of the brand-name insulins Lantus, Humalog and Novolog. The insulins will be available in vials and prefilled pens at no more than $30 per vial or $55 for a box of five pens.
“Diabetes is arguably America’s most expensive chronic condition, and it is heartbreaking that millions of people are rationing their care and putting their lives at risk because they can no longer afford insulin,” said Dan Liljenquist, board chair of Civica. “Through mission-driven partnerships, we are choosing to create a new market reality where no one is forced to ration essential diabetes medications.”
This insulin initiative is one of the many ways BCBS companies are partnering with Civica to increase access to safe and affordable medications. This announcement follows the founding of Civica’s subsidiary, CivicaScript, by BCBSA, 18 BCBS companies and Civica Rx to develop and manufacture common generic medications for which there is currently not enough market competition to drive down prices. The first of these lower-cost generic prescriptions are expected to be available to consumers through specialty and home delivery pharmacies later this year.
For more information on the insulin initiative, visit: https://civicainsulin.org. For more information on CivicaScript, visit: https://www.bcbs.com/civica-rx.
 JAMA, Cost-Related Insulin Underuse Among Patients with Diabetes, 2019
Joy Auch, email@example.com, (585) 238-4374
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company's mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With more than 3,500 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit ExcellusBCBS.com.