US election causes turbulence in insulin pens market

The pricing of insulin became a top issue for the 2020 US election. Unlike other healthcare issues in debate, lowering insulin cost is a point of consensus among candidates. However, while this change will see prices drop for patients, the downward pricing pressure is likely to negatively affect the US insulin pens market, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Tina Deng, MSc, Principal Medical Devices Analyst at GlobalData comments: “The global insulin pen market was valued at $9.6bn in 2019, according to GlobalData,  with the US controlling over 46% driven by increasing diabetes prevalence, rising adoption rate of disposable insulin pens and high selling prices. While market growth in the US may be hammered following the election, there are still market opportunities globally due to increasing demand in locations such as Brazil and China.”

Insulin pens dominate the global diabetes delivery devices market due to easy usage and patient satisfaction. The price of insulin started skyrocketing in the US on the introduction of long-acting insulin in pre-filled pens. As these are considered as more technologically advanced and effective, traditional insulin vials were quickly replaced.

Deng concludes: “Lack of competition is a key factor of the steep pricing of insulin pens in the US. According to GlobalData, Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly and Sanofi accounted for over 99% of the insulin pen US market in 2019. However, Semglee from Mylan and Biocon has been approved by the FDA in June. The listed price is 65% cheaper than Sanofi’s Lantus. Combined with the pricing pressure from policy makers, a fourth competitor entering the insulin pen landscape in the US is expected to further lower the price of insulin pens.”

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