BCBSM Partner to Produce Lower-Cost Insulin

Blues Perspectives

| 3 min read

Lower-cost insulin vial sitting on a table next to a stethoscope
The escalating prices of prescription and specialty drugs for our members continues to be a concern of Blue Cross, and we believe everyone should have access to affordable medications that are effective and safe. Even drugs that have been available for decades – like insulin – have not been immune from dramatic cost increases that have put people’s health at risk. That’s why Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan joined the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and several Blue Cross plans across the U.S. in 2020 to form an innovative partnership with Civica Rx that would allow more generic medications to be accessible and affordable for members.

What Is Civica Rx?

Civica Rx is a non-profit organization that was formed by three philanthropies and numerous health care organizations that represent over 1,200 hospitals across the country. When it was founded in 2018, Civica Rx first worked to stabilize the price and supply of essential generic medications used in hospitals. Thanks to the groundbreaking partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and other BCBS companies, Civica Rx has been able to expand their work by focusing on the affordability of generic medications outside of the hospital setting, mostly recently announcing plans to produce insulin. Civica has announced plans to manufacture and distribute insulins that, once approved, will be available to people with diabetes at significantly lower prices than insulins currently on the market. The availability of affordable insulins will benefit people with diabetes across the country. Beginning in 2024, Civica will produce three biosimilar insulins – glargine, lispro and aspart (biologics corresponding to, and interchangeable with, Lantus, Humalog and Novolog, respectively) – each of which will be available both in vials and disposable pens. Civica will co-develop and manufacture the drug product, complete the clinical trials, and file the necessary applications for FDA approval. Civica plans to set a recommended price to the consumer of no more than $30 per vial and no more than $55 for a box of five pen cartridges, a significant discount to prices charged to uninsured individuals today.

Drug Affordability into the Future

This exciting development strengthens our longstanding commitment to improve the quality, safety and affordability of care our members receive through partnerships with health care leaders. In addition to our investment in Civica, Blue Cross also made a recent investment in Evio Pharmacy Solutions. Evio’s mission is to create a better experience for our members and providers, improve clinical outcomes and reduce the unsustainable costs of all medications by addressing the pharmacy value chain and by more effectively utilizing real world evidence to support clinical decisions. The launch and growth of Evio further enhances our ability to provide our members with a simpler, more affordable pharmacy experience and to work with health care providers to deliver high-quality health outcomes. More from MIBluesPerspectives:
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MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association