ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Some insulin patients will soon see a drop in prices.

Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced Wednesday it would reduce the prices of its most commonly prescribed insulins and put a $35 cap on out-of-pocket costs for patients.

The press release said price reductions of 70% would be implemented for its insulin products. Specifically, the Insulin Lispro injection will be $25 a vial effective May 1, and the price of Humalog will be priced down by 70%, effective in Q4 of 2023.

In addition to the cost reductions, Lilly is immediately enacting a cap for out-of-pocket costs, making them $35 at participating retail pharmacies. People who don’t have insurance can go to Eli Lilly’s website to download a savings card for insulin.

Ty Beringer is a Type 1 Diabetic. He also works for T1 International to help make insulin more affordable for everyone. He’s had to use insulin since 1996 and has even had to make sacrifices in his life due to the high cost of insulin, including trying to make the product last longer than it should.

“I was sick all of the time. It affects your mood, it affected my grades, it affected my friendships and relationships,” Beringer said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 330,000 Arkansans have diabetes, and over 100,000 use insulin. For Beringer and many others, using insulin is like breathing oxygen. Not having the vital drug can kill people if it isn’t taken in time and in the correct doses.

“You ask the average person on the street how much they pay for insulin, and they say, ‘nothing’, they make it themselves. So, why do we have to pay for it?” Beringer said.

Caul Corbell, a pharmacist at Live + Well Pharmacy in Fayetteville said Eli Lilly’s announcement is great news for the insulin community. It’s one of the most essential drugs prescribed, along with blood pressure and cholesterol medicine.

Corbell said the out-of-pocket cost cap will make his job a lot easier. According to Corbell, it’s common for people to make sacrifices in their budget to get the medicines they need.

“It’s one of the more heartbreaking situations in a pharmacy when you see someone who can’t afford medication that they have to have,” Corbell said.

The cost of a patient’s insulin will depend on what product the patient uses and what type of insurance they have. Long-acting and short-acting insulin products are what most people are on. According to Corbell, it’s not uncommon for someone without insurance to pay $300 to $500 a month.

Insulin was discovered in the 1920s. Corbell said for a drug that’s been out for 100 years, it could have been cheaper by now.

While Beringer is excited about this milestone being made in the medical community, he said more work needs to be done. According to Beringer, it’s due to advocates across the country pushing for accessible insulin costs that companies have come so far to make these decisions.

He said Lilly should have and could have made this change before now and that people have died waiting for this day to come. Beringer hopes other insulin companies start looking to expand and drop their price caps as well.

“We’re going to keep pushing Eli Lilly. We’re going to keep pushing the federal and local governments in this country to let us have a sense of security– that’s really what we want,” Beringer said.