Amid the ongoing insulin affordability crisis in the United States, and in response to the coronavirus pandemic, two insulin manufacturers have recently announced programs to help ensure that people with diabetes retain access to affordable insulin.
Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk are taking different approaches to their new programs. While Eli Lilly announced that a new cap of $35 per month for insulin would apply to both people without health insurance and those on many insurance plans, Novo Nordisk announced that it was offering a 90-day supply of insulin free of charge to people who had recently lost their health insurance.
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The third major insulin manufacturer with a presence in the United States, Sanofi, hasn’t introduced any new programs since the coronavirus pandemic began. But it continues to offer ways for certain people to lower their insulin costs.
Eli Lilly announces insulin value program
Insulin manufacturer Eli Lilly has announced a new program to limit out-of-pocket insulin costs to $35 per month for anyone with commercial health insurance or no health insurance.
The new Lilly Insulin Value Program went into effect on April 7, and was announced in a press release by the company. It covers most varieties of insulin that Lilly manufactures. That includes Humalog, Insulin Lispro Injection, Humalog Mix50/50, Humalog Mix75/25, and Insulin Lispro Protamine and Insulin Lispro Injectable Suspension Mix75/25.
For Humulin R U-500, Lilly offers a separate copay card that lets people with commercial insurance fill their monthly prescription for as little as $25. People who use Baqsimi (glucagon) nasal powder can access two devices with another similar copay card for $25, an offering that was announced in summer 2019.
“Too many people in the U.S. have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 crisis, and we want to make sure no one goes without their Lilly insulin,” said Lilly Diabetes president Mike Mason in the press release. “The Lilly Insulin Value Program is meant to help address the needs of people in this crisis, but we also remain committed to exploring additional solutions.”
All types of Lilly insulin are expected to remain available without any shortages during the current pandemic, according to the company. In fact, the company announced in yet another press release that as of April 16, two new lower-priced, non-branded insulins are available for order by pharmacies in the United States. These two new products are identical to the Humalog Mix75/25 KwikPen and the Humalog Junior KwikPen, but are sold under their generic insulin names.
To see if you qualify for the Lilly Insulin Value Program or to explore other forms of assistance the company offers, you can call the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center at 833-808-1234. The center is open weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm Eastern time.
Novo Nordisk announces free insulin for people with lost benefits
Novo Nordisk announced in a press release on April 14 that it is offering a 90-day supply of insulin at no cost to people with an existing prescription who recently lost health insurance coverage for their insulin.
Applicants must show proof of their loss of benefits and meet certain eligibility standards, but they won’t be required to show proof of income. In addition, people who are denied Medicaid benefits after applying may qualify for free insulin beyond the 90-day period, up to the end of the year. More information on eligibility is available at NovoCare.com or by calling 844-668-6463.
Novo Nordisk also offers a few other assistance programs. One such option, which launched on January 2, is My$99Insulin, which lets anyone buy up to three vials, or two packs of pens, of any combination of Novo Nordisk insulins for $99. The company also touts its non-branded versions of NovoLog and NovoLog Mix, which are listed at 50% of the price of their branded equivalents. Finally, the company offers a one-time Immediate Supply option to people who run out of insulin and need more time to explore a sustainable solution.
“We’ve talked to people, including those who have been critical of us, and it’s clear there is no one solution that will work for everyone and people need options,” said Novo Nordisk Inc. president Doug Langa in the My$99Insulin announcement. “With these programs, in conjunction with NNI’s investment in rebates to ensure our medicines are on formularies, we are continuing to take action to help people with diabetes afford their insulin as we work toward much needed longer-term change.”
Sanofi maintains two insulin savings programs
Sanofi offers two programs, one for people with commercial insurance and one for people without insurance. For those with insurance, the Sanofi Rx Savings Program lets enrollees pay as little as nothing and no more than $99 per month for Lantus or Toujeo, or no copay for Soliqua 100/33. For people without prescription medication insurance, the company’s Insulins Valyou Savings Program limits the monthly copay for all Sanofi insulin to $99. This program includes Lantus, Toujeo, Admelog and Apidra.
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.”