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Eli Lilly (LLY) was admonished by a California lawmaker for promoting a diabetes help center for patients who cannot afford their insulin while at the same time failing to lower prices or comply with a new state law that requires drug makers to disclose pricing details.

In a harshly worded letter sent on Monday, state Sen. Ed Hernandez, who sponsored the transparency law, criticized the company for touting its Diabetes Solution Center at the same time that prices for insulin, made by several companies, has risen dramatically in recent years. An analysis published two years ago found that the cost of insulin, on average, more than tripled — from $231 to $736 a year per patient — between 2002 and 2013.


“If pharmaceutical companies like yours priced their drugs reasonably, there would be no need for a help line,” he wrote. “… Your company’s egregious defiance of state law makes your promotion of a ‘Diabetes Solution Center’ even more disingenuous and offensive. If you would simply comply, Californians would know when you hike the price of insulin again.”

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