Earlier this month, Civica Rx, a nonprofit generic pharmaceutical company, announced that it was planning to manufacture and distribute affordable insulin.

The company made its intentions clear by announcing that it is expecting to produce three generic insulins – glargine, lispro, and aspart – at a price of no more than $30 per vial and no more than $55 for a box of five pre-filled pens.

American patients need cheaper insulin, particularly those who are uninsured or underinsured. It is estimated that at least one in every four Americans with diabetes is skipping lifesaving insulin doses due to high prices.

Dan Liljenquist, Board Chair of Civica and CivicaScript, said, “Diabetes is arguably America’s most expensive chronic condition, and it is heartbreaking that millions of people are rationing their care and putting their lives at risk because they can no longer afford insulin.”

Civica’s cheaper insulins will benefit people with diabetes who are forced to skip life-saving medicines, especially those who are uninsured or underinsured, as they have to pay the most out-of-pocket for their medications.

Civica and CivicaScript are teaming up to make quality generic insulin available and affordable to everyone.

Civica aims to provide essential generic drugs that are in shortage or excessively priced due to a lack of competition. Its purpose is to create this competition by stabilizing supply and keeping prices fair and sustainable.

Martin VanTrieste, Civica President and CEO, told BioSpace that the company would use this same approach to “bring quality, low-cost insulin to the marketplace that will be available and affordable to all Americans.”

“We want to disrupt and transform the current supply chain of insulin so we can eliminate those high prices,” he added. “As a nonprofit pharmaceutical company, and with our distribution model, we have tools available to us that a for-profit company doesn’t have.”

In the United States, Civica has been supplying 60 essential medicines to more than 55 health systems and more than 1,500 hospitals. It has also been supplying medicines to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Defense, and “340B” hospitals.

Carter Dredge, Lead Futurist, SSM Health, said Civica is uniquely suited to tackle “big, complex problems,” such as drug shortages, access, and pricing issues.

“Any one single organization, acting in a traditional sense, has a hard time truly addressing some of these big problems. Civica represents something very different,” he added. “You start fresh and new but huge because you take the scale of the current incumbent organizations and you apply it to this fresh new way of solving the problem.”

SSM Health is a nonprofit health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest through a robust and fully integrated health care delivery system.

Civica will manufacture glargine, lispro and aspart that are bioequivalent to Sanofi’s Lantus, Eli Lilly’s Humalog and Novo Nordisk’s Novolog, respectively. It will produce these cheaper insulin products at a state-of-the-art 140,000 square-foot manufacturing plant being built in Petersburg, Virginia. It has collaborated with GeneSys Biologics to co-produce the drug substance to be used in the insulins.