Current Edition

Eli Lilly says its drug supply, including insulins, is safe from COVID-19 for now

Eli Lilly, one of the major producers of insulin for the U.S., reassured consumers and the market today, saying it does not expect any shortages of its products as the COVID-19 outbreak spreads around the world.  

It pointed out that it does not get the active pharmaceutical ingredients for any of its approved medicines from China, and said its insulin manufacturing sites in the U.S. and Europe have been unaffected by coronavirus. The drugmaker said its global manufacturing network is “fully operational” and that it is taking steps to safeguard its medicine supplies.

The drugmaker, which has popular drugs like diabetes med Trulicity, even used the situation to promote its products saying that its insulin and other medicines are available as normal and that “pharmacies that don’t have certain medicines in stock can order them from wholesalers, with delivery in 1-2 days.”

Lilly’s assurances came even as strains on the supply chain from the outbreak materialized elsewhere. India took steps to protect its own drug supply by restricting the export of 26 APIs and formulations until further notice. 

The FDA, which has said consumers and hospitals should expect some drug and medical supply shortages, announced last week that it has been alerted by a drugmaker to one shortage tied to COVID-19. It did not identify the drug or the drugmaker but did say alternatives to it were available.