- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Walmart announced Tuesday the launch of its first private brand analog insulin to offer a more affordable treatment for diabetes.

The retail giant is selling its private ReliOn brand in its pharmacies this week and Sam’s Club pharmacies in mid-July nationwide.

The brand includes analog insulin vials for $72.88 and FlexPen for $85.88.

Customers could save between 58% to 75% off the cash price of branded analog insulin products, or savings of up to $101 per branded vial or $251 per package of branded FlexPens, Walmart said.

“We know many people with diabetes struggle to manage the financial burden of this condition, and we are focused on helping by providing affordable solutions. We also know this is a condition that disproportionately impacts underserved populations,” Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Walmart Health & Wellness executive vice president, said in a statement.

The cost of insulin for people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes has risen dramatically over the past few years.

Medicare spending on insulin increased by 840% between 2007 and 2017, from $1.4 billion to $13.3 billion, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Spending per user on insulin products grew 358%, from $862 to $3,949, between 2007 and 2016, Kaiser data shows.

Tracey D. Brown, chief executive officer of the American Diabetes Association, said diabetes costs a person an estimated $9,601 each year.

Walmart‘s new ReliOn NovoLog Insulin injection is made by Novo Nordisk, one of three major insulin manufacturers. It is a rapid-acting insulin analog to control high blood sugar in both children and adults with diabetes. Customers need a prescription in order to buy Walmart‘s insulin products.

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