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2 Months of Insulin = 4 Bottles & $955.13 - Diabetes Stories

 on Dec 2, 2016  

It’s hard for me to share the this pic - but I feel that in order to for me to encourage others to share so that real change can occur re: affordable insulin for all, I have to do the same. 
Backstory: Back near the end of October, I realized I'd finally met my yearly deductible and my insulin would now be free. My Dr sent over my RX and 2 bottles that would have cost $517.75 out of pocket, cost me $0.00. 
BUT 10 days later I realized that the RX was for the wrong amount. 30 units a day, instead of 60. BIG DIFFERENCE. 
My Dr's office called in the proper RX and it was filled on the November 18th. 
4 bottles - until the end of the year - I thought I'd have at least one more refill in December that would be covered 100%.  
 Unfortunately, my insurance says that my next refill is on January 2nd, 2017 - and it’s out of pocket. I'm thoroughly confused and have spoken to my Pharmacist twice  - about getting one more refill before the end of year, but according to my insurance company's D math - that's the date. WTF. 
Yes, I will be calling my pharmacy at the end of December to see if they can push another insulin RX through before the end of the year. - fingers crossed. 
4 bottles of insulin - a two month supply in total, of a drug that literally keeps me alive, and that would have cost me $955.13 in total, or $238 per bottle, WITH INSURANCE - had I not met my 2016 deductible thanks to wrist and hand surgery. 
$238.78 a bottle for a fast acting insulin (FTR, the name of the insulin is blacked out because my insurance charges me the same amount of money for Apidra, Lily, and Novalog,) insulins that are no longer on patent, but whose prices have gone up exponentially since 2002. 
$5,730.78 a year out of pocket, (probably a bit more because my RX pricing goes down the closer I get to my deductible,) for my/our elixir of life. 
And I’m one of the lucky ones.
1. I have insurance
2. My Endo provides me with copious amounts of life saving samples of the drug (insulin,) that keep me alive, because he’s appalled at what my insurance charges me for insulin. 

I am so grateful to and for him. 

And I am so angry.
Angry that in the United States, insulin prices to go up for a multitude of reasons . 

Here's what  I told the Lilly reps when I met with them privately in October to discuss in cost of insulin.
SIDEBAR: Kudos to Lilly for reaching out and meeting with Advocates one on one.
They were the only insulin company to physically meet with me -  and I appreciate that they took the time to meet with me on the east coast and hear my wants and needs - but others in the DOC, when it comes to insulin pricing.  

I told the Lilly reps that I don’t want to demonize pharma or the companies that make insulin and other lifesaving drugs, because I don't. 
But things have to change because people can’t afford the very drug(s) that keep them/their loved ones alive - with insurance or without. 
And that I DON'T CARE WHO”S FAULT IT WAS?IS - I WANT IT FIXED - And I will remember who led the charge to make things right. WE ALL WILL - every single one of us living with diabetes.
I stated that I don’t want hear about the Affordable Care Act, because insulin prices have been going up since 2002 - long before the ACA came to be - stop blaming blaming OBAMA. 
I mentioned that insulins that have long been off-patent, cost most of us more now, then when they were new. 
Insurance companies blame pharma, pharma blames Pharmacy Benefit Managers, PBMs blame everyone else. Toss in restrictive state laws  and it becomes a vicious circle of blame. 
There’s enough blame for everyone to go around - at this point, things need to make things right.

Insulin Patient Assistance Programs help, but they don’t help enough. 
Those programs  don’t always provide the patient with enough insulin and many don’t qualify for the programs, let alone know these programs exist - see the link to the Diabetesmine link in the article below for all the reasons why. 
Also, these programs take time and paperwork. 
People with diabetes have enough damn paperwork. 
We spend countless hours on the phone with our insurance companies, our pharmacies and our Doctors. We are usually the ones who catch the costly mistakes made in our insurance billing - and it takes months to right those costly wrongs. 
And when you need you need insulin - you need it ASAP and everyday - waiting isn’t an option. Click HERE for a breakdown of various insulin assistant program links/pros and cons. 

A meeting that took place in few weeks ago with Pharma and Advocates in D.C came together re: Insulin pricing. 
Unfortunately, I didn’t attend the meeting, but Diabetesmine wrote and excellent post on the meeting yesterday, and  I encourage you to read it
It’s comprehensive and does a beautiful and detailed job of explaining the big picture. 

For those of us who didn’t attend the Insulin Roundtable meeting in D.C. and for those who did, there are ways to have your voice heard. 
For starters, pick up the phone and call your state lawmakers and share your story. 
Use the #DiabetesAccessMatters hashtag on Social Media. 
Call your insulin companies up and in nice, authoritative, calm, and kind voice - tell them your needs and your issues with insulin pricing. 
Get up dates from diabetesPAC  and see what diabetes issues are front in center in DC.
Sign the American Diabetes Association Petition to Stand Up For Affordable Insulin.

It’s easy, free and it can only help. 

from Diabetesaliciousness ©
2 Months of Insulin = 4 Bottles & $955.13 - Diabetes Stories

2 Months of Insulin = 4 Bottles & $955.13 - Diabetes Stories 4.5 5 Fathin Ammar Dec 2, 2016 It’s hard for me to share the this pic - but I feel that in order to for me to encourage others to share so that real change can occu...