Insulin Shortage Alert, Eli Lilly & Co. Faces Temporary Supply Constraint

Manufacturer Eli Lilly & Co.
Manufacturer Eli Lilly & Co. Credit | Shutterstock

United States—Manufacturer Eli Lilly & Co. has just said that two of its insulin products are currently in shortage.

“The 10 mL [milliliter] vials of Humalog® and Insulin Lispro Injection are or will be temporarily out of stock at wholesalers and some pharmacies through the beginning of April,” Lilly said in a recent statement, as reported by The HealthDay.

Supply Shortfall

The company said it is continuing to make the 10 mL vials and “will ship them as soon as we can.” However, in the meantime, patients with diabetes may need to consult with their doctors “to discuss switching to the same insulin in a prefilled pen or other insulin treatment options,” Lilly said.

For many cancer patients, the decision to change to a new product can be easier in theory rather than practice, as mentioned by sarcoma patient advocate Laura Marston. Her type 1 diabetes is controlled by Humalog as medication.

Marston complained to CNN that she is still injecting into her pump. Her coverage will be for vials alone at a time when it could be a tedious job to get through approvals.

“If Lilly doesn’t fix this fast, I actually don’t know what I’m going to do,” Marston told CNN.

Company Response

Lilly claimed that it is providing a USD 35 insulin voucher program to clients without insurance.

“We recognize that any supply challenge may cause a disruption in people’s treatment regimens, and we are moving with urgency to address it,” its statement said.

Supply Constraint Cause

The company added, “Patients who need insulin immediately and cannot access their healthcare provider for an alternative treatment option should seek emergency care,” as reported by The HealthDay.

Lilly spokesman Tarsis Lopez told CNN that the “dynamic nature of insulin supply and demand, coupled with a brief delay in manufacturing, led to the temporary supply constraint.”