Insulin costs have been in the public eye recently, with hearings taking place on Capitol Hill in April regarding pricing practices for this medicine. In light of the potentially high price tag, some are speaking with their doctors about the possibility of using Walmart’s ReliOn insulin brand, which is available for $25 a vial. The human insulin, which is manufactured by Novo Nordisk, is available in the following versions:
• ReliOn Novolin Regular
• ReliOn Novolin NPH
• ReliOn Novolin 70/30 mix
• ReliOn Novolin 70/30 mix pens
Although the medicines can be purchased over the counter without a prescription, anyone considering ReliOn insulin should speak with his or her health-care provider about the pros and cons before starting: Because it is a type of human insulin formulation, which were first released in the 1980s, it can affect blood sugar levels in very different ways from newer insulins, with potentially dangerous consequences (including severe or even fatal blood glucose highs and lows). “It’s really, really important to work hand-in-hand with a health-care provider to help modify and adjust dosing and to understand how these insulins behave differently than other insulins they might have taken before,” says Jennifer Goldstein, MD.
According to Novo Nordisk, the formulation is also available at CVS and Express Scripps, though, per Vox patients must first apply for a discount program to purchase the medicine through these avenues.
Want to learn how to save money on your insulin? Read “Insulin Prices: Four Ways to Pay Less.”