Eli Lilly to sell hospitals smaller insulin vials

AP News
Posted: Dec 08, 2009 2:02 PM

Eli Lilly & Co. said Tuesday it will begin shipping smaller vials of its Humalog and Humulin insulins to hospitals, which often don't need the larger amounts for patients who stay only a few days.

Starting in January, the Indianapolis company said it will sell vials that contain 300 units, or 3 milliliters, compared to a typical 1,000-unit, or 10-milliliter, vial.

Lilly spokesman Scott MacGregor said the larger doses can last as long as a month or more, depending on the insulin type and the amount used by the patient. Diabetes patients admitted to a hospital for low blood sugar or other complications typically stay only a few days, making the smaller vials more appropriate.

Lilly said 1,000-unit vials of Humalog and Humulin still will be available and so will pre-filled injection devices like its KwikPen. The smaller dose will be available just for hospitals.

Humalog and Humulin are among Lilly's top selling drugs. They generated a combined total of $760 million in revenue during the third quarter.

Shares of Eli Lilly fell 40 cents, or 1 percent, to $36.67 in afternoon trading.