Insulin Prices: When You Can’t Afford to Stay Alive


A few days ago in Facebook, I posted a link to an article about the rising costs of EpiPens. A T1 friend of mine commented that link that she is pretty much “done” because of the price of insulin. Yesterday, several people posted an article about the rising costs of insulin. My friend shared that link and stated that she can’t afford to stay alive. I told her to promise me that she would go to the hospital when she runs out of insulin.

She sent me a PM that I am sharing here:

Kelly, my life is basically over. I’m coming up on my first bday with out my mom. I have no family. No friends here. I work a job helping others and get shit on for it. I’m not saying I am suicidal, I’m saying I am exhausted, tired, burnt out. I get no help. I never thought that I would be in this position with my insulin. I was the earliest person who went on a insulin pump. I was also the earliest to be put on Humalog when it came out. Nobody in the doc cares. You have a blog, so you have a voice. I’ve talked with people on line about shaking the doc and insulin companies awake and nobody wants to do so, they told me that they are more at ease with begin complacent and apathetic. How sad.

My friend has a job with insurance. However, she has a very high deductible and has to pay 100% of the cost until she meets the deductible. She is out of money and her doctor doesn’t have any samples to give her. I know samples seem to be drying up – my doctor isn’t getting them anymore either. Because she is working, she makes too much money to qualify for any of the prescription assistance programs. She was an only child and both of her parents have died. She has no family to help her.

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Mantras and More

Today’s topic is:

Click for the Mantras and More – Thursday 5/15 Link List. Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day. Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day. Is there something positive you tell yourself? Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through? Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost? Maybe we’ve done that and we can help others do it too? (Thanks to Meri of Our Diabetic Life for suggesting this topic.)

What gets me thru a hard diabetes day?

Glucose tablets and Apidra

Yeah, I know that wasn’t really the intent of this post, but I had to! 

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Apidra and Medicare: Good News!

Apidra and LevemirLast week after a reader contacted me that Apidra was not coming up on the Medicare search tool, I contacted Sanofi-Aventis. I came home Friday to find an email with some good news. Apparently, Medicare made a mistake in not including Apidra in the search tool. Most Medicare plans will still cover Apidra. Unfortunately, because the search tool will not help you, you have to go to each available plan’s website (or call them) to find out whether or not they will cover Apidra. The person at Sanofi also told me that if it is not coming up on the plan’s list, to call them to make sure because they might not have the latest available updates on the website.

My pharmacy was closed when we got back from Pittsburgh Friday evening, so I gave my two prescriptions to my mother to pick up. Saturday morning, I logged into my plan’s website to see if the Dakin’s solution would be covered – the wound center told me that it might not be covered. I noticed that they had the 2013 formulary up so I looked to see if Apidra was on there and it wasn’t. I then looked at one of the other plans in my area and they did have it.

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Apidra and Medicare

Yesterday, a reader emailed me and said that her Medicare Advantage Plan was no longer covering Apidra.  When she went to the Medicare website, no plans were coming up that covered it.

I went to the Medicare site and typed in Apidra to see if any plans covered it.  Apidra was no longer in their system.  I saw this:

Medicare and Apidra

I Googled Avodart – that has something to do with the prostrate gland.  Not quite the same drug category as Apidra!

Thinking maybe someone misspelled it (although unlikely because it was there last year, but you never know), I looked at the drugs in the A list and didn’t see any misspellings.  I looked for insulin glulisine and it didn’t come up that way either.  Lantus, Levemir, Humalog and Novolog were all there.  Only Apidra was missing.  Oh joy!
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What a Waste of $$$$

AccuChek NanoAwhile ago, I saw Manny on TuDiabetes mention that the AccuChek Nano meter was supposed to be more accurate and fall within 15% accuracy rates.  I decided that I would try one so bought one back in August.  They were only $10 so it wasn’t like I had to spend a fortune to get one and there ended up being a rebate slip in the box.  After I got home and opened the box, there weren’t any test strips.  I can’t order strips until October and I hate ordering strips for a meter I am not sure about.  Been burned one too many times!

I decided to call Roche and see if they could send me some sample strips for the Nano.  They were nice enough to send me some sample strips.  During our conversation, I made the mistake of mentioning the night that I went low and had to call the EMTs.  I mentioned it because AccuChek does read low and some meters I have had would tell you that you were 80 when you were 30.  That was a big mistake!

Because I mentioned the word “low,” Roche is required by law to replace the meter and strips.  I don’t even know what box of strips I was using.  They had to ask all kinds of questions.  I told him that it was not the meter that caused the low nor was I saying anything was wrong with the meter.  When he was talking about getting the meter back, I told him that I did not want to give up my meter – it is consistent and I am not giving it up!  He said that they still had to send me one and if I did not want to send the other one back, then don’t. 

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Oh Crap 399 – Oops!

Tuesday night I went up to bed about 10.  I have a dual-alarm clock that I set for 11 PM & 7 AM – two of the times that I take Levemir.  I woke up a little after 7 this morning without my alarm going off.  It didn’t go off at 11 either.  Someone forgot to set it!

I knew it was not going to be pretty, but I was NOT expecting this:

Blood sugar 399


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