A major pharmaceutical company has capped the cost of insulin in America to help make it more affordable for those financially struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly has announced the out-of-pocket cost for insulin will now cost $35 (£28.22) per month.

The new scheme covers the cost of most of Lilly’s insulins, including the popular Humalog injection. People who have commercial insurance can also purchase the products, as well as people who do not have any at all.

However, those who have government insurance such as Medicaid, Medicare, Medicare Part D or any State Patient or Pharmaceutical Assistance Program are not eligible.

Insulin is essential for people with type 1 diabetes and the cost of the treatment nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016 with many people struggling to afford to the correct doses they needed. Unlike in the UK, where prescription costs £8.60 per item, people in America need a decent health insurance policy, which includes prescription coverage, otherwise purchasing drugs can be extremely expensive.

Mike Mason, president of Lilly Diabetes, said: “Too many people in the US have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 crisis, and we want to make sure no one goes without their Lilly insulin.

“We’ve been providing affordability solutions for a long time, but more is needed to help people during this unprecedented period. People with commercial insurance, as well as those without insurance at all, are eligible, and the process is quick and simple. We want people who need help to call us.

“The Lilly Insulin Value Program is meant to help address the needs of people in this crisis, but we also remain committed to exploring additional solutions that provide meaningful impact for those living with diabetes beyond the current crisis.”

Aaron Kowalski and Thom Scher from the JDRF-Beyond Type 1 Alliance, issued a joint statement and said: “It’s critical that people with diabetes can reliably access insulin at a low, consistent out-of-pocket cost. Enabling a $35 per month insulin co-pay regardless of employment status will help many Americans in this difficult time.”

Last month Eli Lilly reassured people with insulin-dependent diabetes that there was not a shortage of the medication after some chemists had reported it was low on stocks.

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