Tags: Health Topics | Diabetes | insulin | prescription drugs

Programs That Help Diabetics Afford Insulin

vials of insulin in packaging
(Gary Hider/Dreamstime.com)

Tuesday, 21 July 2020 10:55 AM

It's no secret that many people with diabetes are struggling to afford their insulin.

More than 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. Some of these people may have health insurance, some may not. Others may be facing new financial challenges, including job loss due to the pandemic. Still others may have health insurance that requires high out-of-pocket payments before benefits kick in. The bottom line is that there are many different factors that can make insulin unaffordable and there isn't one solution that will work for everyone.

So, what are people with diabetes doing? According to a 2018 American Diabetes Association survey of 535 insulin users in the U.S., roughly a quarter of those who responded said insulin costs affected their purchases and use of insulin the past year. People said it caused them to regularly take less insulin than prescribed (26%), miss doses weekly (23%), and not fill prescriptions (18%).

The good news is that today there are a host of programs available to help people having difficulties affording their insulin — including those with and without insurance.

"We know people need more help right now," said Doug Langa, executive vice president, North America Operations and president of Novo Nordisk Inc. "Patients have enough issues to worry about at this moment. We don't want being able to pay for their insulin to be one of them."

Novo Nordisk is a company that's been making diabetes medicines for nearly 100 years. They have created a one-stop hub called NovoCare that contains information about all their commercial programs, including the following:

  • A Patient Assistance Program providing free medicine to eligible individuals: Novo Nordisk's patient assistance program has been providing free medicines, which today includes all Novo Nordisk insulins, to eligible patients since 2003. An individual with an annual income up to $51,040, and a family of four with a combined annual income up to $104,800, may qualify. Last year, nearly 50,000 Americans received free insulin from Novo Nordisk through this program.
  • And for those facing financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, people with diabetes using Novo Nordisk insulin who have lost health insurance coverage because of a change in job status due to COVID-19 may be eligible for a free 90-day supply of insulin through Novo Nordisk's Diabetes Patient Assistance Program.
  • My$99Insulin: For $99, you can get up to three vials or two packs of Novo Nordisk insulin FlexPen/FlexTouch/PenFill pens. My$99Insulin is available to eligible insured and uninsured patients.
  • Copay savings cards: Registering for a Copay card can help defray out-of-pocket costs for eligible commercially insured patients.
  • Unbranded biologics: Unbranded biologics of both a rapid acting and a premixed insulin in vials and pens are available from Novo Nordisk Pharma, Inc. (NNPI), a Novo Nordisk A/S company at a 50% discount compared to the current list price of branded versions.
  • $25 human insulin at Walmart/CVS: This offering has been running for almost two decades and has recently been made available at CVS and at other national pharmacy chains. Patients should talk with their doctor about whether human insulin is an option for them.
  • Immediate Supply Insulin: A free, one-time, immediate supply of up to three vials or two packs of Novo Nordisk insulin FlexPen/FlexTouch/PenFill pens for individuals with a prescription. This is a short-term option for people facing an acute need.

Eligibility details and terms and conditions for these options can be found online at NovoCare.com, or by calling 1.844.NOVO4ME (668.6463).

By visiting NovoCare.com or calling 1.844.NOVO4ME (1.844.668.6463), you can find out more about options that may help you better afford your Novo Nordisk diabetes medicines. Health care professionals can also find information on NovoCare.com.


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It's no secret that many people with diabetes are struggling to afford their insulin. More than 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes.
insulin, prescription drugs
Tuesday, 21 July 2020 10:55 AM
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