- By Heather Carlson Kehren
Nonprofit co-founded by Mayo Clinic announces plan to manufacture affordable insulin
Civica Rx, a nonprofit generic drug company, announced plans on Thursday, March 3, to manufacture and distribute affordable insulin. Mayo Clinic joined a coalition of seven hospitals to launch Civica Rx in 2018. The goal was to help patients by addressing supply shortages and high prices for medications.
The availability of affordable insulin will benefit people with diabetes who have been forced to choose between life-sustaining medications and living expenses, particularly those uninsured and underinsured, as they often pay the most out of pocket for their medications. Civica plans to set a recommended price to the consumer of no more than $30 per vial and no more than $55 for a box of five pen cartridges. This is a significant discount to the prices people who are uninsured pay today.
"Mayo Clinic chose to be a founding member of this innovative venture because our leadership understood the positive impact its success would have on the health of patients and its potential to help solve some of the nation's biggest health care challenges," says Dennis Dahlen, Mayo Clinic's chief financial officer and a member of Civica's board of directors. "Civica’s announcement regarding generic insulin is a significant step toward ensuring patients with diabetes have access to this vital medication."
Civica will produce three insulin types — glargine, lispro and aspart, which will be interchangeable with Lantus, Humalog and Novolog, respectively. Each insulin type will be available in vials and prefilled pen cartridges. Civica will codevelop and manufacture these insulin types, and complete clinical trials and the necessary applications for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.
The insulin types will be manufactured at Civica's 140,000-square-foot manufacturing plant that is being built in Petersburg, Virginia. The facility will be able to produce a substantial amount of the insulin needed in the U.S., with additional space to increase production if necessary. Civica anticipates that the first insulin type — glargine — will be available for purchase as soon as 2024. This timing is contingent on FDA approval.