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Walmart teams with drug maker to provide 'affordable' insulin
June 22nd, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS and BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart has partnered with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. to provide what the two companies call an "affordable insulin option" for people with diabetes.
Starting in mid-September, Lilly's Humulin synthetic human insulin brand is slated to be available in Walmart pharmacies nationwide under the dual-branded name Humulin ReliOn, including 10-ml vials of Humulin R U-100, Humulin N and Humulin 70/30 formulations, the companies said Tuesday.
"As the nation's largest retailer, Walmart touches more consumers than any other retail organization in the country. This collaboration offers a unique opportunity to provide a low-cost therapy to large numbers of people affected by diabetes," Keith Johns, Lilly's senior director for insulins in the U.S., said in a statement.
Walmart has more than 4,300 U.S. stores. The discount retail giant noted that along with Humulin ReliOn insulin it offers $9 diabetes management products, including the ReliOn Ultima Blood Glucose Meter, the ReliOn Ultima Blood Glucose Test Strips (20 count) and the ReliOn A1C test (glycated hemoglobin).
"Our ReliOn diabetes management products offer customers access to quality, affordable products that allow our customers to save money and live better, healthier lives," commented Sandy Kinsey, vice president of pharmacy merchandising, health and wellness at Walmart. "With this new offering of Humulin ReliOn insulin, Walmart underscores our commitment to helping people affected by diabetes manage their healthcare needs."
Citing figures from the American Diabetes Association, Walmart and Lilly reported that nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes, up from 21 million in 2005. Of those, about 27% use insulin to manage blood sugar levels.
"With diabetes reaching epidemic proportions in America, it's more important than ever for participants in the health care system to work together to provide solutions to help people successfully manage this condition," Johns stated. "At Lilly, we strive to provide innovative, cost-effective therapies that help patients manage their diabetes."