Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced two of its widely used insulin formulations would become temporarily unavailable; a month later is there any end in sight?

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Lilly was the first to commercialize insulin back in 1923. Today drug manufacturers Novo NordiskSanofi, and Eli Lilly are the world's top 3 largest producers of insulin. In fact per Al Jazeera,

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Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly are of particular note. The two companies control 75 percent of the global market – and both have insulin shortages impacting people who rely on the medication.

Lilly Headquarters Indianapolis
Lilly Headquarters, Indianapolis via Google Maps

As a Type 1 Diabetic, myself and my fellow diabetics continue to struggle filling prescriptions of this life-saving drug. According to the news source, "38.4 million people in the United States have diabetes and rely on insulin for their survival."

With only 3 manufacturers mass-producing insulin, when something goes wrong we're all forced to feel the effects. That's exactly what's happening right now in Illinois and nationwide.

Update From Lilly:

In March 2024 Lilly announced 10 mL vials of Humalog and insulin lispro (generic) would become temporarily unavailable due to manufacturing delays, but production was expected to resume mid-April.

However, in a recent statement by Lilly the pharmaceutical company expects its consumers will still feel the effects:

All Lilly insulins are available in the U.S. for patients living with diabetes, including 10 mL vials of Humalog® (insulin lispro injection) 100 units/mL and Insulin Lispro Injection 100 units/mL. But, the market and supply chain continue to be dynamic, so some pharmacies may still experience intermittent outages

What's The Solution?

Unfortunately, there really isn't one. Lilly suggests consumers either:

  • Call around to different pharmacies
  • Resort to using KwikPens or some other mode of injection,
  • Or, simply switch the brand of insulin you're using

Yeah, because everyone knows that will go over great with your insurance company--what could go wrong?!

Now, I have a decent stockpile at home but I know others aren't so fortunate; the longer this shortage goes on, the more I start to worry. Read the full statement from Lilly here.

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