MarketWatch: Eli Lilly’s revenue boosted by jacking up cost of insulin for diabetics

By: Caitlin Huston

Eli Lilly and Company increased its U.S. revenue by 15% for the fourth-quarter, but the rise may have come partly at the expense of patients with diabetes.

The company reported the fourth-quarter revenue increase Thursday, with sales of Humalog insulin, a short-acting insulin used by consumers with Type I and Type II diabetes, leading the company’s U.S. pharmaceutical revenues with a 20% increase. That growth was “driven by higher realized prices, and, to a lesser extent, increased volume,” the company said.

Asked on the earnings call about the current debate over drug pricing, John Lechleiter, chief executive officer, said higher prices make sense because it helps the company fund the research needed to find better treatment methods or a cure.

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