California partners with a nonprofit to manufacture insulin

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced over the weekend that the state has partnered with Civica, a Utah-based nonprofit, to start manufacturing low-cost insulin. 

The unprecedented move puts the state in direct competition with major pharmaceutical companies to lower the cost of the lifesaving medicine for diabetics. 

"People should not be forced to go into debt to get lifesaving prescriptions," Newsom said. "Through CalRx, Californians will have access to some of the most inexpensive insulin available, helping them save thousands each year." 

The state-manufactured medicine will cost $30 for a 10-milliliter vial and be available sometime next year. 

Right now, 10-milliliter vials can cost up to $300, according to state officials. 

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The Civica contract will initially cost the state $50 million and will allow all Californians, regardless of insurance coverage, to access the drug at pharmacies or by mail. 

Over 3.2 million Californians have diabetes and an additional 884,000 are undiagnosed, according to the American Diabetes Association

"There are people choosing between rent or insulin, groceries or insulin," said Niketa Calame-Harris, an advocacy chair for the American Diabetes Association.

Newsom also announced plans for the state to start manufacturing Naloxone, a drug that helps stop opioid overdoses, in an effort to combat the ongoing crisis.