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Sanofi, Novo Nordisk implement insulin price hikes in US

Sanofi and Novo Nordisk A/S increased the U.S. prices of their insulin products, the Financial Times (London) reported.

Insulin is an essential treatment for certain patients with diabetes, a disease which affects over 30 million people in the U.S.

France's Sanofi raised the prices of its three main insulin brands by 4.4% to 5.2% last week, according to the report. Meanwhile, insulin price increases made by Denmark-based Novo Nordisk's were just under 5%, in line with a 2016 pledge to keep annual price hikes below 10%.

These products have list prices in the range of $300 and $400 depending on the dose, the FT noted. Currently, there are no generic versions of insulin.

In December 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration introduced new measures to incentivize drugmakers to develop biosimilar insulins. Biosimilars are biological products that act in the same way as their existing regulatory-approved reference products. Biosimilars are intended to be lower-cost versions of biologic therapies.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said then that the new policy will help drive competition in the insulin market, which is dominated by the two European pharmaceutical companies along with Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co.