|April 2023||Maximixe your HSA e-Newsletter||Vol. 19, Issue 4|
Multiple Companies Slashing Insulin Prices! Here’s What You Need to Know
Diabetes is deadly.
And it threatens millions of Americans.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are about 37 million Americans currently living with diabetes, about 20% of whom don’t even know they have it.
What’s more, the CDC also estimates another 96 million Americans may have pre-diabetes, which left unmanaged may turn into much more serious health problems.
The numbers include both Type 1 (childhood onset) and Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes. While Type 2 diabetes can be improved by paying more attention to diet and exercise, Type 1 diabetes cannot. People with both conditions rely on injected insulin to stay healthy and thrive.
Fortunately, we got some fantastic news this month. After many years of common modern insulin products like Humalog and Lantus costing hundreds of dollars per vial, even with insurance, multiple insulin makers announced they were slashing prices significantly.
In recent years, pharmaceutical companies have come under increased public and government pressure to lower insulin prices in the wake of the Inflation Reduction Act. The law set a $35 cap per insulin prescription per month. But it only applied to Medicare patients. It had no effect on prices for anyone else, with or without private insurance.
But three major pharmaceutical companies, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi, all announced in quick succession that they were implementing significant price cuts and setting up out-of-pocket caps on insulin products.
This is a lifesaving announcement for many cash-strapped insulin-dependent diabetics – and those pre-diabetics who may soon join their ranks!
Here are the specifics:
First, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly announced it was cutting the prices of key insulin products by at least 70 percent. What’s more, the company also announced it was capping insulin user’s out-of-pocket costs at 35 dollars per month.
The out-of-pocket price cap is effective immediately. It’s true even for people who don’t have insurance – including many people with healthsharing plans who don’t have a formal prescription drug plan.
If you have insurance, you can use your plan at your current pharmacy as you normally do. If your doctor prescribes Eli Lilly insulin products, you’ll just have to pay a co-pay of $35 for a month’s supply of insulin.
Your health insurance company will do the rest.
What to do if you don’t have prescription drug insurance
If your doctor prescribes Eli Lilly insulin products, and you don’t have medication insurance, you can register with Eli Lilly directly at www.insulinaffordability.com.
You’ll get a coupon that will reduce your out-of-pocket cost for Eli Lilly products to just $35 per month.
What Products are Affected?
Eli Lilly’s price cuts affect the following insulin products:
- Insulin Lispro Injection 100 units/mL is reduced to $25 a vial. The new pricing is effective May 1, 2023. Lispro will be the lowest-price bolus (mealtime) insulin product available.
- Humalog® (insulin lispro injection) 100 units/mL1, Lilly’s most commonly prescribed insulin, and Humulin® (insulin human) injection 100 units/mL2 will be cut by 70%, effective in Q4 2023.
Eli Lilly is also launching a new product, RezvoglarTM (insulin glargine-aglr) injection, a basal (long-acting) insulin that is biosimilar to, and interchangeable with the currently commonly prescribed Lantus® (insulin glargine) injection,
The retail cost is $92 per five pack of KwikPens®. This price level represents a 78% discount to current Lantus pricing, effective April 1, 2023.
Novo Nordisk is cutting the prices of select insulin products by up to 75%.
Unlike Eli Lilly, which has announced that its $35 price cap for uninsured patients is effective immediately, Novo Nordisk’s new lower pricing on insulin products won’t take effect until January 2024.
Discounted products include both pre-filled pens and vials of basal (long-acting), bolus (short-acting), and pre-mix insulins:
- NovoLog® Mix 70/30
Prices for the two NovoLog products will be reduced by 75%, while pricing on Levemir and Novolin will be cut by 65%.
NovoNordisk also makes human insulin available via Walmart and CVS pharmacies for $25 per vial. They also run a longstanding copay discount program, offering co-pays for as little as $25-35 for several insulin products for eligible patients who are enrolled in commercial insurance plans.
A third manufacturer, Sanofi, manufacturer of Lantus, is also cutting its insulin prices by 78%, as well as implementing a price cap of $35 for customers with health insurance.
It’s also reducing prices on Apidra, a short-acting insulin product, by $70, and rolling out a program for uninsured insulin users to purchase Soliqua insulin pens for as little as $99 per box, for up to two boxes of pens (30-day supply).
What To Do If You Don’t Have Prescription Drug Coverage
If your doctor prescribes Sanofi insulin products and you don’t have prescription insurance, you can enroll in the Valyou Savings Program. This program allows you to purchase all your Sanofi insulin products for the entire month for a flat maximum out-of-pocket price of $35.
Previously, the program allowed patients without medication insurance to buy up to 30-days’ supply of Sanofi insulin products for $99 per month. The new lower pricing goes into effect as of July 1st, 2023.
Here are the details:
The Valyou Savings Program covers these insulin products:
- ADMELOG (insulin lispro injection) 100 Units/mL
- Toujeo U-300 SoloStar® (insulin glargine) injection 300 Units/mL
- Toujeo U-300 Max SoloStar® (insulin glargine) injection 300 Units/mL
- Lantus (insulin glargine injection) 100 Units/mL,
- Insulin glargine injection 100 Units/mL (U-100)
- Apidra (insulin glulisine injection) 100 Units/mL
Only people without prescription medication insurance can apply for the Valyou Savings Program.
It is not valid for Soliqua 100/33 (insulin glargine and lixisenatide) injection 100 Units/mL and 33 mcg/mL.
When using the Insulins Valyou Savings Card, prices are guaranteed for 12 consecutive monthly fills.
The catch: You have to pick all your insulin products up for the entire month at the same time. Otherwise you might have to pay another $35 fee for each additional transaction.
For more information on Sanofi’s Valyou program, visit www.insulinsvalYOU.com.
If you need additional financial assistance because you cannot afford insulin, click here.
Note for Healthsharing Members
As many of you know, joining a healthsharing plan routinely saves families as much as 50% compared to the unsubsidized cost of a traditional health insurance policy. Most of these plans come with a prescription drug discount program rather than a prescription drug insurance policy.
With the new, lower insulin policy, it may make more sense to use your insulin manufacturers’ discount plan, rather than your healthsharing plan’s discount plan. You should compare both prices, and choose the one most advantageous for you.
Click here to schedule an appointment, or call 800-913-0172 to get started.
To your health and wealth,
Wiley P. Long, III
President - HSA for America
The HSA for America Maximize Your HSA Newsletter is published monthly and emailed to subscribers at no charge. Subscribe now to stay on top of the critical information you need to know about health insurance, healthshare plans and managing your finances to achieve financial security.
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