Civica Rx to make, distribute low-cost insulin

Civica is teaming up with BCBS companies, Intermountain Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Providence, Trinity Health and several others to improve access to insulin.

Alongside development partner GeneSys Biologics, it plans to manufacture and distribute three generics: glargine, lispro and aspart. Once approved, they are expected to be available to consumers for $30 or less per vial or $55 a box of five prefilled pens starting in 2024, once approved. The price will be based on the cost of development, production and distribution, Civica said in an announcement.

“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, in a statement. “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.”

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Millions of Americans need insulin, but one in four cannot afford to take doses as prescribed. As a result, patients can develop health conditions that could have been prevented. This disproportionately affects people of color and the uninsured.

“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.”

In early 2020, Civica announced a separate collaboration between the BCBS Association and other BCBS companies to make common generics, the first of which is expected to be available later this year. 

The insulins will be manufactured at a new plant being built in Virginia, the company announced, which is expected to be operational in early 2024.