SAN ANTONIO – Anne Dina has been managing her Type 1 diabetes since she was 10-years-old. But, once she was off her parents’ insurance, she couldn’t afford the insulin she needed.
“My insulin runs anywhere from $200 to $400 a month,” she said. “I have had to ration my insulin before because of the expenses.”
It’s a familiar struggle. Since 2014, the prices of some commonly prescribed insulins have skyrocketed.
There are efforts in Washington to rein in costs, but those may take a while to go into effect. In the meantime, there are ways to find more affordable insulin.
“If you’re insured and have a high deductible plan, new federal rules might mean that you just pay a low copay and not the full amount,” said Consumer Reports’ Lisa Gill. “For example, if you’re insured by Cigna, you could get insulin for just $25.”
Check with your insurer because more are capping insulin copays.
If your insurance company has not yet set low or zero copays, or if you don’t have insurance, there are authorized generics to consider.
“Some companies have an authorized generic that is cheaper. Eli Lilly’s authorized generic version of Humalog, called insulin lispro, is half the price at $150,” Gill said.
If you have to stick with name brand insulin, there are some lower cost options now available. Ask your doctor or pharmacist.
You could also consider human insulin. Novo Nordisk’s human insulin is available at certain pharmacies for about $25, depending on insurance. If you don’t have insurance, the insulin manufacturer may have a patient assistance program that provides it for free if you qualify.
There are also diabetes-specific clinics and organizations that help with costs. For help finding those, go to www.needymeds.org.