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The Insulin Market Is Heading For A Shakeup. But Patients May Not Benefit

The Insulin Market Is Heading For A Shakeup. But Patients May Not Benefit

The insulin market, dominated by old drugs that have skyrocketed in price, is on the verge of a shakeup. The first “follow-on” insulin for diabetics, similar to a generic medication for synthetic drugs, will hit the market in December. It’s expected to be followed in the coming months and years by a wave of new follow-on and “biosimilar” insulins that have the same protein structures as brand-name products. Experts predict that these new insulins will carry lower prices — but it’s far from certain that the competition will drive down costs overall. The stakes are high: About 6 million Americans with diabetes use insulin, either alone or in combination with an oral drug. The annual cost of insulin reached $736 per patient in 2013, up threefold since 2002. Diabetes medicines, including insulin, are the second most expensive category of prescription drugs, according to Express Scripts, the big pharmacy benefits manager. Here’s what you need to know about how insulin prices got so high — and what you should expect from the coming shifts in the market. What’s on the market now? The vast majority of diabetics who need insulin choose from a menu of a half-dozen “analog” brands, which are chemically altered from natural human insulin. They’re manufactured by just three different drug makers: Novo Nordisk, Sanofi-Aventis, and Eli Lilly. Some are long-acting insulins, injected once or twice a day; others act rapidly and patients inject or deliver them with a pump as needed. Many patients use both. A few of these products — like Novo Nordisk’s Tresiba and Sanofi’s Toujeo, which are both long-acting — have only been on the market a matter of months, and aren’t yet widely used. But the others have generally been around for at least a decade, and s Continue reading >>

Medicare And Insulin

Medicare And Insulin

Why does a drug cost $25 without insurance and $110 with Medicare Part D? Novolin N and R can be bought at Walmart for $24.88 without insurance. With a Part D plan, the cost is $110. Why? I have a client who has diabetes. She uses Novolin N and Novolin R. If she uses her Medicare Part D plan to purchase this insulin, she would go into the donut hole/coverage gap because the “negotiated price” is $110 per vial and she uses four vials per month. So she goes to Walmart and buys Novolin N and Novolin R without using her Part D card. Her cost is $24.88 per vial. How is it possible that the insurance company that runs her Part D plan has “negotiated” a price of $110 for Novolin when it sells at Walmart for $25? Although the insurance companies that provide Part D plans “negotiate” drug prices, it is Medicare that actually pays the bill. So why is Medicare paying $110 instead of $25 for Novolin? Medicare will spend 70 billion dollars on Part D in 2015. How much lower would that incredible figure be if Medicare was not overpaying for drugs like Novolin? I looked up up Novolin N or Novolin R on the Medicare.gov Plan Finder. Here is just one of 30 stand-alone Part D plans available in Arizona. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer better co-pays for Novolin ($9 or $0), but the retail price is always over $100. I have written previously about my clients with high drug costs, and insulin has been part of the story: Medicare and Insulin: The retail price of insulin using a Part D plan ranges from $70 for a vial of Humalog to $395 for the Novolog Flexpen. Novolin is not the best insulin for managing diabetes, but it is the lowest-cost method if purchased at Walmart for $25. ************* When I googled “the cost of novolin” I found an article from Phoenix Diabetes and E Continue reading >>

Why Walmart Insulins Aren’t The Answer To High Insulin Prices

Why Walmart Insulins Aren’t The Answer To High Insulin Prices

A diabetes advocate contrasts the performance of generic insulins versus the more popular brands. Commentary Some people don’t understand why people with diabetes get upset at the price of insulin. They see insulin for sale at a relatively reasonable price in Walmart and don’t see the problem. What they don’t know is that these Walmart insulins just don’t perform nearly as well as the more expensive insulins, and that gap in performance can have a very negative effect on the health of people with diabetes. There are three insulins available at Walmart for the price of $25 – NPH, Regular, and 70/30 (a mix of the two). NPH was first approved by the FDA in 1950, Regular was approved in 1982, 70/30 in 1989. That means NPH has been around for 66 years, Regular for 33 years, 70/30 for 27 years. Take a moment and think about what healthcare was like in 1950. Now, I’m sure someone is saying, “Well, they must still work if they are still being sold.” And they do, but they don’t work in the same way. These insulins are not interchangeable. If a person with Type 1 diabetes were to switch from a Humalog/Lantus insulin regimen to Regular and NPH, it would drastically alter their lifestyle, making blood sugar control more irregular and raising A1C scores. The biggest issue is that whereas Lantus is steady, NPH peaks. A person using NPH must keep a very set dietary schedule, making sure to eat meals and snacks at certain times to correspond with peak times of an insulin dose. The strict schedule is difficult for everyone, but especially for children. They are unable to alter their daily schedules and must always be sure to eat at specific times. Even if they’re not hungry, they must eat to avoid low blood sugar. And if they are hungry, they often cannot have more t Continue reading >>

Regular-insulin, Injectable Solution

Regular-insulin, Injectable Solution

Insulin regular (human) injectable solution is available as brand-name drugs. It’s not available in a generic form. Brand names: HumuLIN R, NovoLIN R. Insulin regular (human) comes in three forms: injectable solution, powder for inhalation, and an intravenous injection. Insulin regular (human) injectable solution is used along with a healthy diet and exercise to control high blood sugar caused by type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Low blood sugar warning: Insulin regular (human) can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If you have a low blood sugar reaction, you’ll need to treat it right away. Symptoms can include: hunger dizziness shakiness lightheadedness sweating irritability headache fast heart rate confusion Thiazolidinedione warning: Taking certain diabetes pills called thiazolidinediones (TZDs) with insulin regular (human) may cause heart failure in some people. This can happen even if you’ve never had heart failure or heart problems before. If you already have heart failure, it may get worse. Your healthcare provider should monitor you closely while you’re taking TZDs with insulin regular (human). Tell your doctor right away if you have new or worse symptoms of heart failure, including: shortness of breath swelling of your ankles or feet sudden weight gain Infection warning: Do not share insulin vials, syringes or prefilled pens with other people. Sharing or reusing needles or syringes with another person puts you and others at risk for various infections. Insulin regular (human) is available as an over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drug. It comes as a solution that you inject subcutaneously (under your skin). Your healthcare provider will show you how to give yourself the injection. You can also follow this guide for self-injection. Insulin regular (human Continue reading >>

Covidien Recalls Mislabeled Relion Insulin Syringes

Covidien Recalls Mislabeled Relion Insulin Syringes

Category: Major Medical Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, Covidien, Diabetes, Defective and Dangerous Products, Medical Device Recall, ReliOn, Insulin Syringe LEARN MORE FDA News Release ReliOn Recall Notice InjuryBoard on Diabetes Drugs InjuryBoard on Hypoglycemia IMAGE SOURCE:© Creativecommons.org/ Erich Schulz, Brisbane The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is notifying doctors and patients that Tyco Healthcare Group LP (Covidien) is recalling 471,000 single-use disposable, insulin syringes that could pose a serious health risk to diabetic users. The FDA warns use of the mislabeled ReliOn syringes could lead to patients receiving an overdose of as much as 2.5 times the recommended dose, which could lead to hypoglycemia and other serious adverse health effects (side effect), including death. Hypoglycemia, also known as "low blood sugar," is commonly associated with diabetes; however, anyone can experience episodes of low blood sugar. If untreated, hypoglycemia can become a medical emergency for someone suffering from diabetes. During the packing process, a lot of syringes labeled for use with U-40 insulin became mixed with syringes labeled for use with U-100 insulin. The recall applies to the following lot number and product information: -- Lot Number 813900 -- ReliOn 1cc, 31-gauge, 100 units for use with U-100 insulin Tyco HealthCare Group, the manufacturer of the ReliOn syringes, issued a voluntary recall on October 9, 2008 which asked retailers to remove the products from shelves and place them in quarantine. Wal-Mart and Sam Club stores sold the syringes from August 1, 2008 until October 8, 2008. Consumers who purchased syringes from either of these stores may return the product to any store location and will be provided with a replacement product. To date Continue reading >>

Novo Nordisk And Cvs Partner To Offer $25 Insulin

Novo Nordisk And Cvs Partner To Offer $25 Insulin

CVS Health has launched their Reduced Rx Savings Program and Novo Nordisk is participating by helping make some of their insulin more affordable. This prescription savings program will give discounts on certain medications and is intended to help patients who have either a high deductible cost to deal with or those who don’t have insurance coverage. Novo Nordisk and CVS Health will be offering Novolin R, Novolin N, and Novolin 70/30 human insulin for $25 per 10ml vial. For cash paying patients this could save them as much as $100. Jonathan Roberts, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at CVS Health said in a Novo Nordisk press release that “We developed the Reduced Rx prescription savings program with Novo Nordisk because we both recognized a need and an opportunity to make critical medications more affordable for patients,” and that “This savings program will leverage CVS Caremark’s expertise in providing lower cost prescription drugs and fulfill our company’s purpose of helping people on their path to better health.” Dough Langa, the senior vice president and head of North America Operations at Novo Nordisk said that “This program underscores how important collaboration is to addressing the affordability challenges patients face in certain health plans or who remain uninsured. We all have a role to play and that’s why we welcomed the chance to work with CVS Health on this program,” He added that, “We’re committed to developing sustainable solutions with customers and will continue to pursue opportunities to ensure that patients have access to insulin that is affordable.” This program lets patients buy medications at the reduced cost at any of the more than 67,000 pharmacies in the CVS Caremark retail network, including the Continue reading >>

Relion Insulin Syringe/u- Coupon & Discounts

Relion Insulin Syringe/u- Coupon & Discounts

Relion Insulin Syringe/U- Discount Savings with HelpRx discount up to: *The discount precent is an estimate based off recent cardholder data. Valid as of January 11, 2018 Claim your free Relion Insulin Syringe/U- discount Click the "Get free coupon" button to receive your free Relion Insulin Syringe/U- discount Print, email or text message your coupon Present your coupon the next time you fill your prescription (No signup required!) Relion Insulin Syringe/U- Information: Janet Larsen - Austin, TX Continue reading >>

Canine Diabetes

Canine Diabetes

Diabetes in dogs is increasingly common – but is far from a death sentence. Article by Mary Straus and CJ Puotinen, published in the Whole Dog Journal, May 2012 Contents Introduction Complications Survival Statistics Treatment and monitoring Exercise It's an Effort Also see these related articles: Zachary, pictured above, lived a happy and healthy life for four years after being diagnosed with diabetes at age 11. Introduction For years public health officials have reported a diabetes epidemic among America’s children and adults. At the same time, the rate of diabetes in America’s pets has more than tripled since 1970, so that today it affects about 1 in every 160 dogs. But while many human cases are caused and can be treated by diet, canine diabetes is a lifelong condition that requires careful blood sugar monitoring and daily insulin injections. The medical term for the illness is diabetes mellitus (mellitus is a Latin term that means “honey sweet,” reflecting the elevated sugar levels the condition produces in blood and urine). Diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce sufficient insulin to metabolize food for energy, or when the body’s cells fail to utilize insulin properly. The pancreas's inability to produce insulin is known in humans as type 1 (formerly called juvenile or insulin-dependent) diabetes. This is analogous to the type that affects virtually all dogs. Dogs can also develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Type 2 (formerly adult onset) diabetes, which is the result of insulin resistance often linked to diet and obesity, is the most common form of diabetes in humans. Most diabetic cats have type 2 diabetes, but there is no evidence that this form occurs in dogs. Symptoms The classic symptoms of diabetes are excessive thirst, Continue reading >>

Is Mealtime Insulin Right For Me?

Is Mealtime Insulin Right For Me?

Diabetes & Insulin In diabetes, your body does not make enough insulin or use it properly. This causes your blood sugar to go too high. Oral medications, like metformin, may help your body to use insulin more efficiently. Other oral medications can help your body make more insulin. However, these medicines often work for only a few years. When the oral medications stop working, you will need to give yourself background and/or mealtime insulin shots to help control your blood sugar. If you need insulin, it does not mean that you have failed. It is just a part of diabetes. Background insulin can help control your blood sugar when you are not eating. However, it does not cover the carbs that you eat at meals. If the dose of background insulin is raised to cover spikes in blood sugars that happen after you eat, your body will have too much insulin in between your meals and while you sleep. This can cause your blood sugar to go too low. This is called hypoglycemia. If you have high blood sugars after meals, this can cause tiredness, irritability, blurry vision, more frequent urination and thirst. Over time, high blood sugars can damage your feet, hands, and eyes. By adding mealtime insulin you can better match the insulin to what your body would produce if you did not have diabetes. This will help prevent both low and high blood sugars so that you feel better and get less damage from the diabetes. What is Insulin? Natural insulin is made from the pancreas to match what the body needs so your blood sugar stays in a normal range. The pancreas makes some amount of insulin all the time, called background or basal insulin. Background insulin helps to supply fuel to your muscles and controls the glucose that is released from your liver. Every time you eat, the pancreas releases a Continue reading >>

Lilly Nabs Co-branded Insulin Deal With Walmart

Lilly Nabs Co-branded Insulin Deal With Walmart

Walmart has teamed up with a new insulin partner. Beginning in September, the retailing giant will no longer sell Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO) insulin under its ReliOn brand name, but instead will market Eli Lilly's (NYSE: LLY) Humulin drug under the "dual brand" Humulin ReliOn. The drug will be part of Walmart's ReliOn line of diabetes management products, including blood-glucose meters, test strips, and so on. It's already a blockbuster for Lilly, with $1 billion in 2009 sales, but it's an older insulin drug that's since been succeeded by Lilly's Humalog. That product turned in $2 billion in 2009 sales. "[A]s the nation's largest retailer, Walmart touches more consumers than any other retail organization in the country," Keith Johns, Lilly's senior director for insulins in the U.S., says in a statement. "This collaboration offers a unique opportunity to provide a low-cost therapy to large numbers of people affected by diabetes." The Walmart deal gives Lilly its first co-branded product, Reuters points out. What's unclear is just how much money the drugmaker might reap from selling Humulin through Walmart, which, after all, prides itself on low, low prices. The retailer will set the price, the Wall Street Journal reports, but hasn't done so yet. - get the Lilly release - see the story from Reuters - check out the WSJ coverage Continue reading >>

You Can Buy Insulin Without A Prescription, But Should You?

You Can Buy Insulin Without A Prescription, But Should You?

As anyone with diabetes can tell you, managing the disease with insulin usually means regular checkups at the doctor's office to fine-tune the dosage, monitor blood-sugar levels and check for complications. But here's a little known fact: Some forms of insulin can be bought without a prescription. Carmen Smith did that for six years when she didn't have health insurance and didn't have a primary care doctor. She bought her insulin without a prescription at Wal-Mart. "It's not like we go in our trench coat and a top hat, saying, 'Uh I need the insulin,' " says Smith, who lives in Cleveland. "The clerks usually don't know it's a big secret. They'll just go, 'Do we sell over-the-counter insulin?' " Once the pharmacist says yes, the clerk just goes to get it, Smith says. "And you purchase it and go about your business." But it's still a pretty uncommon purchase. Smith didn't learn from a doctor that she could buy insulin that way. In fact, many doctors don't know it's possible. When she no longer had insurance to help pay for doctors' appointments or medicine, Smith happened to ask at Wal-Mart if she could get vials of the medicine without a prescription. To figure out the dose, she just used the same amount a doctor had given her years before. It was a way to survive, she says, but no way to live. It was horrible when she didn't get the size of the dose or the timing quite right. "It's a quick high and then, it's a down," Smith says. "The down part is, you feel icky. You feel lifeless. You feel pain. And the cramps are so intense — till you can't walk, you can't sit, you can't stand." Smith says her guesswork put her in the emergency room a handful of times over the years. The availability of insulin over the counter presents a real conundrum. As Smith's experience shows Continue reading >>

New Insulin And Crashing

New Insulin And Crashing

This last week I had to switch Bender over to a new insulin. Vetsulin is no longer available and it is unknown how long it will be till it is. These last few months have been great. I got Bender regulated. Down to 22ml per shot, he was up to 37 at one point. Healthy eating on a home cooked diet. And in general a happy dog. That all ended this week. I started Bender out on the normal measurement. It is some thing like .75 units per kilogram. Bender is 45 lb = 20.4116 kg x .75 = 15 units. My vet recommended Novolin N and I could get the generic from Walmart called ReliOn N. Which I did. He got 15 units per shot the first day. That night he crash. Peanut Butter and carrots to the rescue. The next night the same thing. By the third day I changed his dose to 10 units. He started to get worse. He was crashing twice a day. Last night was scary. Woke at 1:30 to Bender milling around. He was crashing. I got him PB and carrots. After ten minutes he was ok. We went back to bed. 20 minutes later he is up milling around, worse than before. Falling over, bumping into every thing. He has never been this bad. I tested his level. 41. My meter doesn’t read below 40. It just says low. This time I give him some honey and 1/3 of his food for a meal. After 25 minutes I test his glucose level. It was 61. Not high enough. So I gave him the rest of his food and sat up with him for another 45 mins. At that point he was 109 and we went back to bed. At 9am I tested him after I fed him. 192. Excellent. He got 7 units. By 6. He was crashing again. No time to test. I gave him a spoon full of honey and then his meal. Afterwards I tested. He was at 90. No shot. Some thing is going on here. There has to be a huge difference between Vetsulin and Novolin – N. Upon some research, there is. I honestly n Continue reading >>

Relion/novolin R Coupon And Discount

Relion/novolin R Coupon And Discount

Drug Name: ReliOn/Novolin R Generic Name(s): insulin regular Drug Class: Insulins Treats: Diabetes ReliOn/Novolin R (insulin regular) is a short-acting form of insulin that is produced in the body. It works by decreasing the levels of sugar in the blood. This medicine mainly treats patients suffering from diabetes. However, it may also be used for other conditions as determined by the doctor. ReliOn/Novolin R Discount Coupon - Save Up To 75%** Off! The free Pharmacy Coupons ReliOn/Novolin R Coupon and Discount Card can save you up to 75%** off your prescription prices. All you have to do is print the coupon and bring it to the pharmacy to receive the benefits of our drug discount program. This coupon is not insurance and is not valid in combination with any government-sponsored drug plans. How to use your ReliOn/Novolin R Coupon: Click the "Get Coupon" button below and choose to receive your ReliOn/Novolin R coupon by Print, Email, or Text Message. Bring your discount coupon to the pharmacy and show it to your pharmacist when you fill your prescription. Save up to 75%** off your prescription! Continue reading >>

Recall Of Mislabeled Relion Insulin Syringes

Recall Of Mislabeled Relion Insulin Syringes

Mislabeled insulin syringes can cause patients to get 2.5 times more insulin then expected. The FDA posted the following at their website on November 5 about some U-40 syringes being packaged as U-100 syringes. Most folks in the US are using U-100 insulin, and U-100 syringes, and may be completely unaware that in other parts of the world, insulin is produced in U-40 strength, and corresponding U-40 insulin syringes are used. If someone uses U-100 insulin with syringes labeled for U-40 insulin, there’s a mismatch, and a risk of getting 2.5 times as much insulin as expected. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is notifying health care professionals and patients that Tyco Healthcare Group LP (Covidien) is recalling one lot of ReliOn sterile, single-use, disposable, hypodermic syringes with permanently affixed hypodermic needles due to possible mislabeling. The recall applies to the following lot number and product information: — Lot Number 813900 — ReliOn 1cc, 31-gauge, 100 units for use with U-100 insulin Only ReliOn syringes from this lot number and labeled as 100 units for use with U-100 insulin are the subject of the recall. These syringes are distributed by Can-Am Care Corp and sold only by Wal-Mart at Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Clubs under the ReliOn name. Wal-Mart requests that all users of ReliOn 31-gauge, 1cc syringes return those labeled as 100 units for use with U-100 insulin from Lot Number 813900 to their local Wal-Mart store or Sam’s Club pharmacy. Customers will be provided with replacement product. The FDA urges patients and health care professionals to check their syringe packaging carefully for syringes labeled as 100 units for use with U-100 insulin from Lot Number 813900. Consumers and health care professionals who suspect they have the recal Continue reading >>

When You Can't Afford The Insulin That You Need To Survive | How To Use The Cheap

When You Can't Afford The Insulin That You Need To Survive | How To Use The Cheap "old-school" Insulin

Note: BootCamp for Betics is not a medical center. Anything you read on this site should not be considered medical advice, and is for educational purposes only. Always consult with a physician or a diabetes nurse educator before starting or changing insulin doses. Did you know that all type 1 diabetics and some type 2 diabetics need injectable insulin in order to live? Put another way, if a diabetic needs insulin in order to live, and the diabetic does not get insulin, the diabetic will die. Diabetic death from Diabetic Ketoacidosis is a grisly process, during which acid starts running through your bloodstream, searing your vessels and organs while your body shrivels up in dehydration as it tries to push the acid out of your body through your urine and lungs, and, left untreated, the condition shuts down your organs one by one until you are dead. If you're lucky, your brain will be the first thing to swell itself into a coma and you'll be unconscious for the remainder of the organ failures. In some cases, this grisly diabetic death can take a few days or weeks to complete its process. Or, if you're one of the luckier less-resistant insulin-dependent type 2 diabetics, you may actually get away with staying alive for quite a few years and suffer only some heart disease, stroke, kidney damage/failure, neuropathy, limb amputations and blindness. (my intent in describing how lack of insulin leads to death is not to cause fear in people with diabetes or their loved ones; rather, my intent is to make clear the reality that injectable insulin is absolutely vital to diabetics who depend on injectable insulin to live) While I'd love to go off on a political rant about how insulin should be a basic human right for all insulin-dependent diabetics (and why the hell isn't it?), that' Continue reading >>

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