Diabetes Self-Management Blog

According to the American Diabetes Association, the annual cost of health care for people with diabetes is an estimated $11,744 per person — more than twice the cost for people who don’t have diabetes. A new, free tool from NeedyMeds, “a national no-profit organization aimed at providing information to consumers on programs that help with the cost of medications and health care,” may help lessen some of this financial burden.

The Patient Assistance Update Service (PAPUS) provides daily and weekly e-mail updates of all the pharmaceutical patient assistance programs (PAPs), which are run by the drug manufacturers to help people in need receive their medicines at no or reduced cost.

“These programs and offers are constantly changing. Most days our staff of researchers make anywhere from 10 to 50 changes in the PAP information. With PAPUS, anyone who works with these programs will learn about these changes quickly,” notes Richard J. Sagall, MD, president of NeedyMeds.

To sign up for PAPUS, visit the NeedyMeds home page. The Web site also includes information about the organization’s drug discount card, a listing of over 10,00 free or low-cost clinics, more than 1,000 discount coupons, and more.

This blog entry was written by Web Editor Diane Fennell.


  1. Wish they could help with food! Eating healthy is so expensive. I was diagnosed 5 months ago and have been using lifestyle changes to manage my numbers…I’m doing very well, but boy it has at least tripled my grocery bill!

    Posted by Shelley C |
  2. It is certainly obvious who benefits the most from people with diabetes!

    Bet that a program of ‘real’ education would lower the cost a whole bunch. I’m fortunate to be retired and have invested a lot of time over the years — cut the cost to a fraction with MUCH better results.

    Big business this diabetes care..

    Posted by JohnC |
  3. We need Rx assistance for those of us who receive Medicare and/or have a Medicare Advantage policy. Manufacturer’s coupons and discount plans specifically exclude those receiving Medicare.

    While we’re address the issue, we are aware of the importance of diet and dental health for those with any type of Diabetes mellitus. Medicare (and the Medicare enabling Act) specifically exclude Dental care. If we do not have a healthy mouth or have poor dentition we not only complicate Diabetes control but cannot properly consume our food.

    I am in desperate need of Dental care but have no funds. Since I have had Type 1 DM for 42 years, my medical condition excludes Dental School care and there are no free Dental clinics in my area.

    Let the American Dental Association or other address this issue and lobby to include Dental coverage in Medicare.

    Posted by John Conrod |
  4. It is extremely difficult to get Medicare to pay for pump supplies, and I have been denied. I’ve been a diabetic for 35 years, and the long acting insulins do not work well for me. I was on hundreds of units of it a day, plus multiple shots of short acting insulin every day, and I was out of control. The pump saved my life and made it incredibly easy to control my blood sugars every day on about 20 units of short acting insulin a day!!!! That happened in less than 2 months of my being on the pump. I also use a continuous glucose monitor along with the Medtronic pump, and that has made a huge difference in my control. Medicare won’t pay for that at all. All of the supplies for the pump, the pump itself ($5,000 to $6,000), and the CGM (the transmitter that is used with it that has a life of less than a year at $1,400) and the sensors for it, are so incredibly expensive. We are retired but not destitute, but the costs are more than we can handle. Going back on the shots, etc., would be a “death sentence” for me. Isn’t there any relief anywhere for people like me, who absolutely need to be on the pump?

    Posted by Jeny-Lynn |
  5. I am a type 2 diabetic who has been out of control for years now and I am showing the signs. I am employed by WalMart but I can’t afford my insulin. $75 copay on both insulins I need and I cannot pay that. I’m on Humalog and Levemir. I can’t get help from Lily Cares because I have insurance. I’m screwed any which way I turn. I have to use my family doctor instead of an endo coz, yes, I can’t afford the copay for a specialist. I can get some samples from my doctor, but sometimes he doesn’t have them. I believe I’ve looked thru Needymeds but I guess I’ll try them again.

    Good luck to all of us.

    Posted by Suzi Q |
  6. I’am on a fix income so it is hard to stay on a healthy diet. when you on medicaid you can’t get any help, with medicines,

    Posted by Joann |

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