California has made a landmark commitment to combat the ever-increasing cost of prescription insulin, partnering with an experienced drug manufacturer for 10 years in order to provide low-cost options for its residents with diabetes.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, a collaboration between CalRx, a California Department of Health Care Services program, and the non-profit drug manufacturer Civica Rx, would see a 10-milliliter vial of insulin cost no more than $30.

The collaboration would help cut the cost of a vial of insulin in the state by about 90%, as a 10-milliliter vial normally cost $300 — potentially saving many patients between $2,000 and $4,000 a year.

California also announced that it’s taking an important step toward helping to reduce the impact of opioid overdoses by producing its own naloxone, a life-saving nasal spray used to treat opiod overdoses — this move is part of its “Master Plan for Tackling the Fentanyl and Opioid Crisis.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom said:

“People should not be forced to go into debt to get life saving prescriptions. Through CalRx, Californians will have access to some of the most inexpensive insulin available, helping them save thousands each year. But we’re not stopping there – California will seek to make our own Naloxone as part of our plan to fight the fentanyl crisis.”

Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, commented:

“To address the affordability crisis in California, we have to address the high cost of prescription drugs.


“The CalRx Biosimilar Insulin Initiative will benefit Californians who are today paying too much for a medication that we know is life saving and life altering.”

Ned McCoy, President and CEO of Civic, said in a press release that “it is heartbreaking that millions of people in California and across the U.S. are faced with the possibility of having to ration their care and put their lives at risk because they can no longer afford insulin.” He added that he applauds California for “its mission-driven commitment to lowering the cost of insulin and look forward to our groundbreaking partnership on behalf of people living with diabetes.”


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