Gov. Newsom unveils plan to make $30 insulin
DOWNEY, Calif. - In a news conference Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a plan for the state to begin making its own insulin. The governor signed a 50 million dollar contract with the nonprofit drugmaker "CIVICA."
By having the state manufacture its own insulin, the price for a vial would drop to $30. A 10-millimeter vial costs typically about $300.
"What this does is a game changer. This fundamentally lowers the cost. Period, full stop," said Newsom.
The 30-dollar price tag would be for all those who need it, regardless of insurance coverage.
READ MORE: Drugmaker Eli Lilly says it's cutting insulin prices by 70%
The insulin is expected to be delivered sometime in 2024. When it’s available, patients can ask for the generic "CalRx" label at the pharmacy.
"There are people choosing between rent or insulin, groceries or insulin," said Niketa Calame-Harris, an advocacy chair for the American Diabetes Association.
Calame-Harris said she has given herself more than 60,000 insulin shots since her diagnosis in 1999. She was a student in college and said she was often scrambling to find a way to pay.
"I would apply to enroll in clinical trials hoping I would be in the real insulin group instead of the placebo insulin group. I once went without insulin for just five hours and I was in the ICU for two weeks," she said.
Newsom is already looking forward to the next CalRx project, which is to make Naloxone, also known as Narcan, to reverse opioid overdose. That plan is part of California’s efforts to tackle the fentanyl crisis.