JDRF in the United States joining partners to support new affordable insulin project with a focus on the US market.

March 3, 2022 – Statement by Dave Prowten, President and CEO, JDRF Canada

JDRF has long supported both public and private sector initiatives to make insulin more affordable to ensure people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) can access the insulin they need to stay alive and healthy until we have cures.

Today, just two days after U.S. President Biden’s State of the Union address declared, “let’s cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month so everyone can afford it,” JDRF in the U.S., in partnership with a myriad of other health organizations, is announcing a new partnership with Civica Inc. (Civica Rx, Civica), a non-profit generic drug company. This innovative partnership will facilitate bringing a low-cost biosimilar insulin option to Americans at $30 per vial and $55 per box of 5 pens starting in 2024. As it is common for a vial of insulin in the United States to cost as much as $300USD – a significant barrier to care – more affordable access to low-cost insulin, the life-saving therapy anyone living with T1D requires, is essential.

In Canada, a vial of insulin costs on average between $30-$40CAD, with more than 90 per cent of those costs covered by some form of public or private insurance. These costs are regulated by the Patented Medicines Prices Review Board (PMPRB) which limits the prices set by patentees for all patented medicines to ensure they are not excessive. In addition, the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) works to negotiate directly with manufacturers to increase access to lower-cost drugs in Canada. With this regulatory process in place, and with the cost of insulin in Canada being exponentially lower than the United States, the initiative with Civica Inc. is not anticipated to expand here.

Anyone requiring life-sustaining therapy, such as those living with T1D, should never be unable to access or afford the treatments that keep them alive – like insulin. As a global charity, JDRF encourages countries to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to find ways to keep drug costs down worldwide.

JDRF Canada remains a strong advocate for the affordability and accessibility of all appropriate treatments, services, devices and medications (including insulin). As we know, anyone living with T1D requires insulin to stay alive. However, when that treatment is coupled with devices such as insulin pumps and advanced glucose monitors (CGM and Flash GM), self-management and health outcomes can significantly improve. Unfortunately, there are accessibility challenges with these devices due to limited coverage, as well as variability of public and private coverage, which leads to continued high out-of-pocket costs for many Canadians living with diabetes.

That is why JDRF Canada continues to advocate through our Access for All campaign to make T1D technology affordable and accessible for everyone living with this disease. Since its launch, thousands of Canadians have been able to access these technologies as provincial and territorial governments agree on the cost-benefit and quality of life outcomes these devices undeniably provide. JDRF continues to support the efforts of the T1D community so that equitable access to these life-saving technologies can be guaranteed across the country. To join our efforts, visit https://jdrf.ca/advocacy/access-for-all/.

Stay connected on the latest