Walmart to Offer ‘Low-Price’ Insulin as Diabetes Costs Mount
Good news! Walmart has unveiled a plan to offer a lower cost version of analog insulin to those who do not have health insurance or cannot afford the current costs of the necessary drug. The private-label insulin, branded ReliOn NovoLog, is expected to be available at Walmart stores this week and further available at Sam’s Club mid-July.
Current pricing for the new line is $73 per vial or $86 for a package of prefilled insulin needles. Per a 2018 report from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the average cost of the newer analog insulins range from $174-$300 per vial. Walmart currently already sells an even lower-priced insulin for $25 per vial, but this is an older line that is generally considered inferior to the newer analog versions that have entered the space (and climbed in price).
More than 34 million people in the US have diabetes and 1.5 million more are diagnosed every year. From 2012 to 2016 the annual cost of insulin for people with diabetes almost doubled from $2,900 to $5,700. The price hikes have not come without scrutiny, and the hope is more competitors like Walmart enter the space with lower priced options to equalize the market.