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The History Of Insulin, From A Price Tag Of $1 To Over $25011:06
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Judith Garcia, 19, fills a syringe as she prepares to give herself an injection of insulin at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Commerce, Calif. (Reed Saxon/AP)
Judith Garcia, 19, fills a syringe as she prepares to give herself an injection of insulin at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Commerce, Calif. (Reed Saxon/AP)

The history of the lifesaving drug insulin. Its discoverers sold it for a dollar. Today, a quarter of its users are cutting back on doses because they can’t afford it. What’s going on?

Guest

Christopher J. Rutty, medical historian and a professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. (@cjrutty)

He manages the historical archive at Sanofi-Pasteur’s Toronto Lab, but is not involved in any way with their insulin production.

From The Reading List

New York Times: "Eli Lilly Will Sell Half-Price Version of Humalog, Its Popular Insulin" — "The drugmaker Eli Lilly will begin selling a cheaper version of its most popular insulin, Humalog, in an effort to head off criticism about the rising costs of prescription drugs, the company said Monday.

"Lilly will begin selling an 'authorized generic' of Humalog 100 for $137.35 per vial, a 50 percent discount off the list price. An authorized generic means that, except for the label, it is identical to the brand-name drug and manufactured in the same facilities. The new product, which the company said would be made available as quickly as possible, will be called Insulin Lispro and will be sold through a Lilly subsidiary, ImClone Systems.

"'There are clearly patients who, despite many best efforts, are struggling to afford their insulin,' David Ricks, the chief executive of Lilly, said in an interview Friday. 'This is a step we can take to close part of that remaining gap.' "

Stefano Kotsonis produced this segment for broadcast.

This segment aired on March 5, 2019.

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