PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – People with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day to survive.

More than 8 million Americans use insulin, according to the American Diabetes Association.

It was recently announced the drugmaker Eli Lilly is cutting prices for its insulin and capping costs at $35 per month.

The move promises critical relief to some people with diabetes who can face annual costs of more than a thousand dollars.

“With the cost of food these days it’s a tough choice when a carton of eggs is $6 that adds up for a family. It’s just hard to work in, food, shelter, clothes, and then insulin that you alone are spending hundreds of dollars on a month. It’s astronomical and unaffordable,” said Senior Lecturer at Cornell University, Nick Fabrizio.

The battle for insulin price cuts has been strenuous for patient advocates who want to help the uninsured who would not be affected by price caps connected to insurance coverage.

Fabrizio says this opens the door for other drug makers to follow suit.

“Eli Lilly started it but the real question is—who’s next? The AARP puts out a list of the top 10 medicines, how many seniors are on those medicines and the cost. I think that’s a good place to start because then you’re addressing needed medications seniors are using and the impact of those,” Fabrizio explained.

How long will it take to see the real impact of this new insulin price cap?

Fabrizio says hopefully sooner rather than later.

“I’m hoping it’s immediate. There are so many people who aren’t on this medication because it’s unaffordable so if we can start by having those patients who need the medications visit their physicians and get prescriptions for those and start taking those, I think it’s a great first step.” he said.

Fabrizio says the next big thing to tackle is price transparency.

He says we really need a better system to find out the prices of hospital stays and doctors’ appointments. Making healthcare affordable he says has to come from a number of fronts.

Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.