Eli Lilly Low-Cost Insulin Program

Nearly 19 percent of all African-Americans adults have diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes, compared to just over 7 percent of white Americans. The risk of diabetes is 77% higher among African Americans than whites.

Nat'l Urban League
Nov 1 · 3 min read

Of those diagnosed with diabetes, African Americans are more likely to use insulin — 20 percent, compared with 14 percent for whites.

And those living below the poverty line are more likely still, with 24% of poor Americans using insulin.

A study released late last year found that one in four people with diabetes surveyed were under-using insulin because of the cost. Under-use of insulin — skipping doses or using less than a full dose — can cause confusion, dehydration, muscle weakness, and eventually coma and death. Over time, under-use can cause vision, kidney, and nerve damage.

As a national civil rights organization with a mission to address racial disparities, the National Urban League has a responsibility to highlight programs and initiatives aimed at closing the racial health care gap. That’s why we’re proud of our longtime partnership with Eli Lilly and Company, which is working to address insulin affordability.

Lilly Diabetes Solution Center helps more than 10,000 people a month access free or reduced-cost insulin.

People who have no health insurance or high-deductible plans are the most likely to be unable to afford insulin. The Solution Center can direct patients to free clinics or provide automatic discounts at the pharmacy counter.

The free insulin is available via three relief agencies — Americares, Direct Relief, and Dispensary of Hope, operating nearly 150 free clinics across the U.S. The helpline can direct patience to the closest clinic and provide information about access to free insulin. Qualifications for free insulin vary clinic-to-clinic.

Through the helpline, Lilly can provide an automatic discount at the pharmacy counter for qualified patients that cap the cost of prescription at $95.00.

Lilly Diabetes Solution Center, (833) 808–1234, is staffed by medical representatives in the U.S. is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.

In a statement announcing the initiative, Enrique Conterno, president of Lilly Diabetes and Lilly USA., said, People with diabetes face numerous costs for their treatment including medicines, supplies and doctor visits. Our solution center can help relieve the cost burden for many people and better ensure they receive comprehensive treatment for diabetes. Our solution center will take a targeted approach to the problem by finding customized solutions for people.”

No one should have to choose between life-saving medication and other basic life expenses. National Urban League advocates on the national level for reforms that would expand access to health insurance, like the Affordable Care Act, and works with providers and health care workers in our communities to connect people with programs and solutions to improve their health. We’re grateful that Eli Lilly’s Diabetes Solution Center is one of them.

Nat'l Urban League

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