Bernie Sanders takes aim at Eli Lilly over insulin prices

Senator Bernie Sanders.
Senator Bernie Sanders.Jim Cole/Associated Press

Makers of insulin became the latest target for Senator Bernie Sanders, who has been going after pharmaceutical companies one by one over the issue of high U.S. drug prices.

Shares of Eli Lilly & Co. fell after the senator, an independent lawmaker from Vermont, criticized the company and Novo Nordisk A/S over the price of insulin. Along with France’s Sanofi, they are among the world’s largest producers of the drugs, which are used by millions of diabetics.

“People are dying or getting sicker because they can’t afford their insulin,” Sanders Tuesday. “Just so Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk can make outrageous profits.”


Eli Lilly declined as much as 2.7 percent to its lowest price since April. The shares were down 1.7 percent to $72.56 at 12:49 p.m. in New York. Novo Nordisk closed down less than 1 percent to 241.20 Danish kroner in Copenhagen.

Sanders had sent shares of Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. plunging when he questioned the price of the company’s pill for rare blood cancers last month. He later followed the tweet up with a letter to the company requesting information about recent price hikes.

Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk didn’t immediately return calls seeking comments.