The pharmaceutical firm Novo Nordisk, one of the largest global manufacturers of insulin, has just announced three new initiatives aimed at helping diabetes patients who struggle to afford their insulin, the price of which has been rising significantly in recent years. The first initiative, called Immediate Supply, will offer a free, one-time supply of insulin to people who are in acute immediate need while they are looking for a long-term solution. The second is the My$99 Insulin Program, which will allow patients to buy up to three vials or two packs of the company’s prefilled pens for $99. And the third initiative has to do with what are called “follow-on brand” insulins, which are also known as authorized generics. Follow-on brands of Novo Nordisk insulin products will be made available at the wholesaler level, and patients will now be able to order them at their pharmacy and pick them up in one to three business days.
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According to Doug Langa, executive vice president of North American Operations for Novo Nordisk, “We know some people still struggle to afford their insulin and we want to help. We’ve talked to people, including those have been critical of us, and it’s clear there is no one solution that will work for everyone and people need options. That’s why today we have made available additional options recognizing the different solutions that make insulin unaffordable or inaccessible.”
Novo Nordisk began its Patient Assistance Program in 2003. This latest initiative extends the program to include all Novo Nordisk insulins. The company’s new programs have certain eligibility requirements, such as U.S. citizenship and qualifying income levels. Langa advises interested patients to start with the company’s NovoCare.com website. There they will begin by answering questions about what medicines they are interested in and what condition and insurance they have. Then they fill out a quick form to determine their coverage and cost. There is also a phone number: (844) NOVO4ME ( 668-6463). According to Langa, “We’ll continue working within the system and find additional short- and long-term actions we can take that will directly benefit people with diabetes.”
Want to learn more about saving money on insulin? Read “Insulin Prices: Four Ways to Pay Less” and “Cheaper Insulin: Older Insulins May Be Answers to High Prices.”