The rising price of insulin

Diabetes is a chronic disease that afflicts 25.8 million Americans. Insulin, one of the primary treatments for diabetes, has been around since the 1920s. Yet, somehow the drug is still priced beyond the reach of many Americans. One of our advocates recently left a comment on our Facebook page regarding this problem, which encouraged us to take a closer look at it.

Medication nonadherence (patients not taking medicine as prescribed) is undeniably related to diabetes-related health complications that result in emergency room visits and lost productivity. Diabetes is an expensive and deadly disease. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and cost the country $245 billion last year.

A few big pharmaceutical firms dominate the insulin market due to lengthy patents and lack of generic competition. Insulin is a biologic drug, which means that it is made up of living organisms rather than chemical compounds. This makes it more difficult to copy, which biotech companies often use as justification for the exorbitant prices they charge for the drugs.

We’ve had anecdotal evidence from a consumer of a big price hike on her Humalog insulin this year. When she was trying to find out further information about the price increase, she was told by her insurance company to expect the drug to go up 25 percent more in December. News reports indicate that the cost of Lantus, a top-selling insulin produced by Sanofi, has gone up twice already this year, first 10 and then 15 percent. In addition, Novo Nordisk has also increased the price of Levemir, another common insulin treatment, by 10 percent.

What’s going on here? Overall drug spending is slightly down due to generic drug utilization being up. And generic competition isn’t too far off for many of these drugs. It looks like we have a classic example of pharma executives raising drug prices just for the hell of it! They are jacking the prices to squeeze the most profit out of the drugs—at the consumers expense.

We have heard from many RxRights advocates who are in dire straits because they need continued access to affordable insulin. Normally, we point consumers to Canadian and other international online pharmacies when U.S. drug prices are too much to bear. But importing insulin from other countries at a cheaper price is no longer a good alternative.

Many Canadian pharmacies recently stopped selling insulin to Americans after the FDA sent warning letters to firms like CanaRx (the leading supplier of cheaper medication for Maine residents) regarding concerns that the drug could not be shipped safely. Insulin is a cold chain, or temperature sensitive, product. It must be kept within a certain temperature range when shipped. Critics like the FDA have pointed out that foreign pharmacies can’t effectively control shipping conditions to the point of delivery, meaning that safety can’t be absolutely guaranteed. Unfortunately for American consumers, the response to this criticism has been for many international pharmacies to stop providing insulin to Americans altogether.

Have you recently experienced dramatic increases in the price of your needed medications? Please tell us more about it by commenting below.

532 Comments On “The rising price of insulin”

  1. So what can be done about these outrageous price increases? I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 53 years. I don’t ever remember price gouging like this! With insurance, I just paid $326.45 for a 5-pack of Novolog and $304.73 for a 5-pack of Lantus.

  2. My doctor just put me on Humulin U-500 insulin. One 20ml vial was $1200 at walmart. That puts me in the Medicare donut hole within 2 months with my other meds. And Lilly will not help anyone who has medicare D even in the donut hole. Guess I will just have to stop taking the U-500 which is working real well.

  3. yep. Co pay for my humalog went from $45 to $135 in four months. Hope it is a screwup. Right now I think somehow someone incorrectly counted how many KWIK jet cartridges are needed with my prescription.$135 would be the correct co pay for a 90 day supply. One box of cartridges, which is what I was given will last two months, won’t last 90 days. In Oct of 2013 one box of 5 cartridges was 261.91.Today it was 333.33. The vials are somewhat(not much) cheaper, but I use so little I have to toss them when they are only 3/4 full if I follow the expiration guideline, which my doc wants me to.Wind up paying the same. Gets even more weird since patents are expiring.Anyhow, will deal with my insurance monday. It gets spooky having to be sure I keep enough in the checking account to cover unexpected hikes in co pays. I think there is a word for this when companies charge people so much their health is endagered. Called price gouging. Financially I am not flush or even moderate income, but I can make it.For now. People down the street asked me to help them get food stamps and go to the free food place so the husband could afford his new heart meds. Docs don’t know.

  4. The FDA has been bought off. American big business has “bought” the US government lock, stock, and barrel.

  5. I think if Canada was to go to the World Trade Organization, the WTO could penalize the US by putting restrictions on US exports to the rest of the world!

  6. Thank you all for sharing! Unfortunately, we don’t have real answers for you but your comments demonstrate a definite problematic pattern. We read this recent piece from Insulin Nation with interest. Perhaps it is time for consumers to stand up to demand that something be done about these prices?

  7. Since we began buying lantus nearly 3 years ago for our cat, the price has risen from $120 per bottle to $224…ridiculous.

  8. I was told by my pharmacist that with the changes to the healthcare system that insulin was going to be available generic soon and that is the reason for the price hikes we’ve seen over the last year. I have looked around online to corroborate her story but have not found anything. has anyone else heard this?

  9. I also have a diabetic cat. I am so glad you have learned that Lantus lasts for several months when properly refrigerated. Even my vet buys the Sanofi lie that Lantus has a 28 day shelf life. I’ve learned that it is good as long as the cat’s glucose is controlled. Still $243 per vial is obscene.

  10. Please write to your U.S. Senators and Representatives and demand that insulin be made affordable.

  11. Novolin products are sold by Walmart under the relion label “Relion Novolin N” or “Relion Novolin 70/30” for $25 a 100ml vial. It’s the exact same medication sold by Novolin directly and is a great solution for those using or willing to use a mid-acting insulin. It’s cheaper than many of the long acting insluins with copay

  12. It’s insane how much Humalog 10mL cost in the US. Fortunately I live on the US/Mexico border. Now that I have “Obamacare” I thought I might be able to purchase insulin at my local Walgreens for a reasonable price. Here’s what I found… Walgreens 10mL Humalog $240 ($120 w/Obamacare) In Algodonez Mexico (10 min drive) $38. Guess where I’m going tomorrow?

  13. I paid $239.00 for 100ml of Levemir at Walmart. Used to pay under $150 for the same amt. Novo Nordisk is getting super rich at the expense of diabetics!!

  14. I have been a type I diabetic for over 38 years and on Humalog since it was available. until recently I was paying around $40 for a 10ml vial of Humalog. The price for that exact same insulin is now a whopping $250 a 10ml vial. something is absolutely wrong with this picture

  15. That’s exactly right…but our own Congress has supported the Lily position and we can no longer purchase insulin outside the USA. Lily may be one of their larger donators!

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  17. Boy you know it. I purchased a vial of Lantus for my Type I diabetic son May 23, 2014 and it was with my discount $201.73 (before discount was $217.33. When I reordered it yesterday (June 1) it had gone to $251;75 in just three weeks. Good grief. And with my discount it is $233.17. This is ridiculous. So the way I understand it is that if you have insurance the price is cheaper. So those uninsured are basically screwed. And this is something that is matter of life or death. And Sanofi denied his application for help. He has no income nor insurance. I was able to find a company that would enroll him and give him some relief. But it is way too expensive. When he first started with Lantus it was $42.86 a vial. And it was a new product. The drug companies are just ripping out those who have no insurance. Very maddening.

  18. Because of changes in my diabetes,I have just begun using insulin. Today I learned that the cost of the two prescriptions is MORE THAN MY HOUSE PAYMENT!!! I am retired and on a fixed income, and the greediness of the big drug companies is making me crazy! I can no longer consider any luxuries in my life–like eating out once a week or visiting my kids in the northern end of our state. My doctor tells me the fact that my diabetes got worse is not my fault. Evidently the drug companies and medicare disagree, and they are going to punish me for getting sicker.

  19. I am a T-2 Diabetic. Last month my Lantus co-pay was $10.00. This month it jumped to $382.00! My Humilin-R also took a leap from $10.00 to $52 for one vial. I found out that my prescription allowance has already hit the fearsome “doughnut hole.” That means that I have already reached my limit this year, which has in the past hit in December.

    No one can tell me that Obamacare rules and regulations haven’t driven the price of prescription drugs through the roof. With limits being reached in half the time the conclusion has to be a no-brainier.

    Since Diabetes was discovered in 1920 and insulin was first formulated in 1924, there is no reason why the cost of insulin should be so high. This fact is also a no-brainier. Why is it that WalMart can supply regular insulin for $24.88/vial without a script, while other makers of the drug require scripts and charge more than double that amount or more. It is ridiculous and it it is wrong. At this rate the cost of my medicines will end up costing more than I receive in Social Security benefits.

    Do you think there is something WRONG with this picture?

  20. Mary: Unfortunately for us (Diabetics,) the disease just keeps getting worse. I first started out on Metformin and then graduated to 10 units of Lantus daily. It has been increasing over the last ten years. Now I am using 15 units of regular insulin daily, 1000 Mg Metformin, and 70 units of Lantus daily.

    Diabetes is an insidious disease and the FDA and Obamacare is compounding the problem. The price of prescription drugs are going to continue to rise until no one will be able to afford them. Obama won’t have to put people in FEMA Camps for disposal. All the government needs to do is keep pushing health care costs up and many of us will die because we won’t be able to procure the life-saving medications we depend on every day.

  21. My son became a Type 1 diabetic about 3 and a half years ago. I have watched the price of his insulin gradually increase over this period of time. His last prescription of Lantus pens rose from $255 to $419. Almost double the price. It used to be that Lantus would help pay for the medicine but they have recently changed their policy to be only three helps per lifetime. Even if we bought insurance for him through Obamacare the insulin would not be cover except as a formulary medication, which pretty much means that the insurance company will pay $5 and you get to pay the rest after they have jacked up the price another $100 to $200. Sellers of medical drugs and devices are nothing more than scams artists. I’ve seen it happening everywhere since I work in the industry. And yes, Obamacare is nothing more than mass genocide of the American people. Insurance companies are turning down people who have serious conditions such as diabetes.

  22. I’ve found the the best way to save on insulin is to switch to a low carb diet. The long acting dose stays similar initially, but the short acting doses become drastically smaller. I went from ~50-60 units of Humalog per day to 8-10. I’m told that the long acting requirements go down eventually also on a low carb diet.

    It also eliminates the big spikes in blood sugar making it much easier to control.

    Type 1 for 14.5 years.

  23. I feel your pain Nita, as a type 1 with what used to be good health insurance the prices have ballooned. And yes it is because of Obamacare, drug companies are jacking the prices so that if price controls come into play they have cushion for profit. I was told this by a drug rep on the qt. I fear what we “Maintenance ” disease suffers will go through because of this woeful law. My insurance is provided by my employer a Hospital, and they have had to water down their excellent coverage, because if they don’t when the employee mandate laws goes into place they will be fined as a Cadillac plan. I almost had a stroke when I picked up my insulin yesterday. The price of a vial of insulin is now $223, that is crazy, how is someone with a poor plan supposed to afford this, and let’s not get into the costs of an insulin pump.

  24. Lori and Nita, Obamacare is an easy scapegoat but it’s the drug companies that are raising drug prices.

  25. In 1976 at the age of 9, I came down with diabetes. I’ve tried pork and beef (I did better with pork, I believe.) and remember paying $12.98 a bottle. Lilly came out with humalin – and nordisk released novalin. It acted better – but the price jumped. (And a good thing it was released when it was.. as we insulin users far outstrip the insulin production available from the cow & pig industry.) I’ve lived in Kodiak; and had problems with pharmacies getting frozen insulin. (I showed up an hour after it was delivered to the pharmacy and ran home to use the bottle I just bought.. and found an ice cube inside.) I tried buying my insulin from the little pharmacies that actually shipped insulin over to the island in the passenger compartment of the planes (Wein/Markair/Alaska Airlines/ERA) but Safeway and Walmart ran them out of business. When under great insurance, I moved to Novalog and Levimir – which cost around $120 a bottle. While off the insurance, I’ve been back to Novalin R or Humalin R, and paying $25/bottle. Safeway charges more for the Novalin; Walmart charges more for Humalin. (I check every few years.) I stop down here in Washington, and Safeway & Riteaid quoted me $120+/bottle for Novalin/Humalin R. Perhaps I was in insulin shock and wasn’t making myself clear.. So asked for the pricing on Novalog/Humalog. Oh.. $250/bottle. Went and called the local Walmart and they’re selling Novalin R for $24.98 a bottle. Is there really that much pricing disparity over insulin in other states?

  26. Nothing to do with Obama Care and everything to do with Big Pharma greed and the Bush Drug program that created a gap that under Obama Care will eventually close…after I am long dead.

  27. I recently took a promotion at work, and my insurance group changed to “manager status” my deductible went from $700 to $2,500. I went to the pharmacy last week to fill my insulin Rx. Come to find out my $700 deductible I paid already this year does not count towards my new position. Even though I still have the same ins company (United Health Care), just a different group. 1 vial of Lantus at CVS is $277. OUTRAGEOUS! 1 vial of novoLog is $110. Doctor’s tell me that increased stress is a leading cause for Blood Sugar spikes. The cost for the medication that is required for me to live, is a constant stressor in my life. I’m 6 ft 1in and weigh 200lbs. I take care of myself. Trying to manage my type 1 diabetes the best I can. The increased cost is preventing me and my family from being able to enjoy our time together and take vacations. Simply cause we can’t afford too.

  28. I just filled 60-day supply of Humalog at Shopko… $1,088.

  29. my spouse is on insulin. prior to Obama care he was paying right at $100.00 dollars out of pocket for his Humulin R and for his Novolin $ 180.00’s. Now, on Obama Care he is on Levemir vs Novolin because the company wouldn’t pay for it. At Hy-Vee Drug in Iowa the Humulin bottles are half the size and only half full. There will not be enough to get him thru the month as he is on 10 units plus a sliding scale depending on blood sugars. He is an independent truck driver so does not take the Humulin until he is home for the night.
    I have folliculitis and was paying appox. eightly dollars for a three month supply of doxycycline. Since Obama Care and before I had signed up I was told that I could no longer afford this medicine because it had gone up to 200.00 dollars. I was further told that since Obama Care we should expect to see all medicines go way up in price…
    But I’m being assigned to certain location, certain doctors, etc etc. Is this communism and what happened to America the FREE.

  30. 19 Aug 2014, I just got 3 vials of NovoLog 10 ml/ea from Walmart, the cash price is $642.72. About a year and a half ago I paid around $350.00, It’s very disappointing to see such a huge increase in so short a time. And I wonder who the FDA is looking out for, I can get mail order insulin, in an ice pack, from either coast no problem, Why would it be a problem to get in shipped from Vancouver B.C. Canada. I don’t know all the facts, but it seems we are getting the short end of the deal. Stan, Northern Colorado

  31. Can Type 1s band together and form an insulin co-op? I was evicted for non-payment of rent b/c I had to choose between paying $600 in rent and $700 for the insulin flex pens. The landlord was inflexible and couldn’t wait a week until I got paid. I chose life and now I’m homeless. My employer switched insurance after I spent 10 months paying $2000 out of pocket to reach the deductible. Now I have a health savings account, which is worthless. I had to go to Novolin, which needs refrigeration unlike the pens. How am I to have access to a fridge if I’m homeless? This means of course my insulin spoils and doggone I have to shell out more money or use ineffective insulin. There has got to be a better way. Health care and doctors don’t get it. At least most of them. When I can afford to go to the doctor, she lectures me about not adhering to her orders. If I could afford to do what she says, I wouldn’t have to hear how my AC1 levels are too high and my glucose levels are not consistent. Being homeless doesn’t allow me to eat well. Homeless shelters serve a lot of pasta and other high carb meals. Fresh fruit and vegetables are not served everyday. Type 1s need to come together and create a political super group like seniors and other disenfranchised peoples. This group would be incredibly diverse and no politician could afford to ignore us. Imagine a politician saying no to a Type 1 cute kid crying into the camera that her parents can’t afford her insulin so she has to go to the hospital on her birthday rather than celebrate with a party.

  32. Something need to be done!! I have been in between insurance for three months and paying out of pocket for my insulin. I even stopped using Levemir because I can’t afford it any more. Now I have insurance that I’m paying $600 a month for and they want a prior auth from my doctor to fill my scripts. So now I’m still paying for my insulin out of pocket, the $600 for insurance and still not following the correct treatment because I can’t afford it. Also let’s not even talk about how expensive test strips are getting either. Is the US trying to kill off the Type 1 diabetics??

  33. I, a 60 yr. old male developed type 1 at age 13. Had no choice but to start on an insulin pump and Humalog insulin, having a compulsion to stay alive. I could elaborate on just how difficult it is to work, live and pay for insulin and supplies. I have tried to be a peaceful and rational human being and realize that we Americans have had it good in comparison to rest of the world, but under the present situation of health care costs (pharmaceuticals co.) , insurance cost (companies) and our government. I HATE CONSPIRACY THEORIES. But. It is time to take action. This thing is too powerful for one individual to fight WE need to organize We need to get radical. Most of you that are reading this are also not wealthy, not if you have type 1 for any length of time. It wouldn’t be so bad for us all to just die off but these entities mention above are profiting on our misfortunes, able to supply us with gadgets and drugs not to better the world but to better their life styles.
    Yes, there are agencies out there who attempt to help the children. Oh, I could just rattle on forever. Yet just one more thing. My relative recently called and told me he is getting a generic Humalog in Mexico for 8.00 a bottle and it works just fine. AGAIN, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT. LOBBY, OR REEK VIOLENCE OR BOTH

  34. I found out I am type 2 diabetic few years ago, first diet controlled, then Metformin 1000 mg 2xday at $4 a month, then Glyburide added at $4 for those. My sugars were staying between 250-300 fasting and up to 700 during day A1c was running 15.8-16.2. Was told needed basal insulin. I could barely walk pain numb feet and ankles, dry peeling sky, could barely see with blurred vision, I felt awful all the time, Couldnt get out of the bed. I could not afford Lantus, and Finally the doctor discoved their assistance program, All I can is bless you Sandolfi(Lantus). I quailified for no cost Lantus Solostar, just had to buy needles $42.99. I recieve them at the doctors office every three months or as needed. I pray this program stays in place. I dont hurt as bad, i can walk better, i feel better, i can see clearer and Im on day 15 with sugars now as low as 125 ( have not see that low in 2-3 years). Highs 250. Still a work in progress, but Im grateful to Sandolfi. If you cant afford insulin tell your doctor, ask bout programs, free clinic etc….best to all

  35. Add my name to the complaints. Due to the cost of the Humalog insulin I use in my pump, my Medicare D coverage went into the donut hole during the 3rd month of coverage. Even with my insurance “discount” my insulin is costing me $500 a month and I have to fork over another $750 before I go into the catastrophic coverage. Basically, despite the best planning I could do, signing up for an AARP plan, etc., I have paid for my own medications since March. What in the world do people who don’t the financial means to pay for their prescriptions? Die?There is something very wrong with medical/drug system that price gouges on medications that sustain life. FYI. If I was still able to get my insulin from Canada the cost would be about $230 a month but my mail order pharmacy stopped shipping to the USA last year.

  36. I am in the midst of fighting for my right to receive insulin from Keystone 65 Blue Cross. It is a Medicare plan whjich is supposed to cover anything Medicare covers. Now, because I am on an insulin pump my insulin is covered under PART B..I say PART B, NOT D. I have made call to Key.65 for months at a time and the red tape is horrendous. I am so sick of the rise in seems outraged. 157.00 last November to 238.00 today. Medicare reiterates that, YES, I am covered, but blue cross will not get me to a supervisor/case manager; I had one “supervisor” say to me “Insulin, is that the “stuff” diabetic take?” CAN YOU IMAGINE?? They direct me to the ADA or senior citizen [prescription plans, because “insulin is a prescription drug”..No s___. I direct them to the exact page in the Medicare guidelines that start specifically that insulin is covered if one uses a pump. These people are infuriating because they do not know their own plan. In the meantime, I found a pharmacy in Canada that has insuklin cheap. The Northwest Pharmacy where I used to get it, not charges 300.00 a bottle because they started to me that they get their insulin from the US..go figure. I tried to research this, no luck. I think the person was right, “they” are trying to kill us off.

  37. Sounds like the “death squads” will come in the form of pharmaceutical companies. Raise the prices of all prescription drugs, people can’t pay, people start dying off. I have two adult kids with type 2 diabetes. Both on just on generic oral medications for now. I have told both of them, they better try to control it with diet and exercise. Of course, if your pancreas totally quits working, then you’re screwed.

  38. I am a mother of a type 1 diabetic. I totally agree that there needs to be a revolt. The drug companies are in total control. What can we do? I am researching buying in Mexico. My son has went back to using N and R, which he started out using in 1998 at age 17. He’s very frustrated. He was doing well on Lant us and Humalog. He’s not doing well. Has anyone suggestions for buying in Mexico? We will join a group to increase public awareness. Help!

  39. i got type I diabetes 50 years ago and at that time insulin was 2 dollars a bottle. i had no insurance most of my life and could still afford it til about the last 10 years. it is september and i am now in the donute hole and have to buy my insulin by the bottle as i cant afford my usual three month supply. my humana has me buy it from direct source which was 125 for three month supply but this time they wanted 536 dollars. then i found it at rite aid for 85 and when i called right source back…they saw i had been to rite aid and voila they said it would be 85….what a coincidence. i too have had to cut back on any vacations and cant afford big tv’s, new cars, iphone and all the cool things out there i would like to buy. all the healty people dont know how lucky they are.

  40. Has anyone else noticed that Levemir says 1 vile is not to be used after 42 days, but Medicare says that one vile is supposed to last you 90 days? That’s not even healthy!

  41. I can’t answer to the issue of buying from Mexico, but I think this shows why the entire healthcare system needs to be completely revamped, and NOW! I am a type I diabetic who uses Novolog in an insulin pump, and while it is true that Obamacare has made life *somewhat* easier for some people with diabetes, far more needs to be done. Life-sustaining medication, like insulin for diabetics, should be available for low- or no-cost, on demand, with no apologies and no questions asked (aside from an Rx). Anything less than that shows a complete disregard for human life.

    I think most reasonable people, regardless of what type of healthcare system they believe we ought to have, would agree.

  42. I have experienced something similar, with regard to my pump supplies. I enrolled in the exchanges thinking I could save myself some money. I pay a hefty monthly premium so I can have a gold plan, which is supposed to cover 80% of healthcare costs with a 500 dollar yearly deductible. After the first time I ordered pump supplies, I was astounded at how much they claimed I owed for three months’ worth of supplies (needless to say, they did NOT pay 80% of the cost, even though I had met my deductible). I called my insurance company to ask them about it, and they claimed the purchase of the pump supplies went on a *different* deductible of “major medical” and that those supplies would also have a 500 dollar (annual) deductible.

    It is sad that Medicare Part D, which most Democrats opposed, is actually quite similar to Obamacare, which most Democrats support. We need single-payer now!

  43. I too am looking to buy insulin for my child in Mexico. Our copays are so high that I struggle to pay for ALL her gear. In fact, they wanted to put her on a continuous monitor and I have to say no, not only is the copay high, but the monthly cost for supplies adds to what I already pay. I just started looking a few days ago. I found a humalog pen for 28 dollars. She needs the bottle sort so she can use it in her reservoir for her pump. When the Mexican pharmacies can sell it for less than I pay with a copay here in the US, something is wrong!

    I pay insurance too, for what? I’m going to put her on the ReLiOn which has 9 dollar per 50 test strips. The insurance doesn’t cover them but it’s way less than my copay for the meter approved by the insurance. I might as well drop the insurance. I can get cheaper elsewhere.

  44. I just went to the Pharmacy where last month a vial of Levemir 100 injectable units was $40.00. Tonight $160.00. This is outrageous. Could this be usury or extortion of the part of the drug company and/o0r the pharmcy?

  45. i cannot afford $250 for a vial of Lantus!! How in the hell am i supposed to get insulin?? It was 190 last year! WHY MUST IT KEEP GOING UP! WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO??! This country disgusts me.

  46. Since the ACA went into effect the price of novolog thru Humana has increased 26% and Lantus by 62% kin 2014, thus causing higher copayments and more quickly entering the PartD gap. So with the new law and requirement to only pay 47.5% of drug cost in the gap the end result of the increases is the continued high cost to Medicare recipients and maintained profits for pharma companies. They are skirting the law.

  47. 9/27/14: the last time I had paid the full retail insurance price for Lantus was in January. The cost was 170$, with my insurance co-pay it was 35$, Due to a change in health insurance I had to buy a bottle of Lantus today and pay the full price of 234$. My three other prescriptions all have generic equivalents, I have been taking insulin for 36 years and there has never been a generic. I am totally disgusted…

  48. On Feb 1, 2013 my three-month supply of Levemir was $1797 (of which I paid a $30 co-Pay). This has steadily increased until it reached $2943 on July 15, 2014. As I now move into Medicare Part D coverage with its co-pays and donut holes it matters GREATLY! This must fall under the heading of “price gouging”, which I believe can be prosecuted. Since it is mail order, it should be under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. Any ideas on where we should start? I know that the US Congress has been bought and sold by the pharmaceutical industry, so I do not know how to proceed.

  49. in the donut hole now and my insulin is $50 per bottle with insurance paying 60% they say. why is the same novilin R and N the same price at a vets office. This is sad. I don’t have an regular income, just SSI

  50. I am now paying $110.00 a vial for my Lantus which is causing me to have to go back to using NPH and not having as good of coverage as before. This will in effect cause me health risks and endanger my well being.

  51. Hi, a few facts about me before my rant. I’m 79 yo, with AARP Medicare which is “Free”.
    I will be dropping AARP Medicare and go with Original Medicare without any supplement.
    I’ll pay the 20% or whatever and give it a try for 1 year. My blood pressure medicine went from $43 [90 day supply] to $143, not 1 but 2 BP meds went up the exact same amount..
    Sounds fishy. My Lantus solostar pens were reasonable 2 boxes for $90. My doctor increased my BP meds to 2Xday, I get a call from Walgreen’s and they say AARP United Healthcare said it’s too much and they would call my doctor. I cancelled the order stating that I would be seeing the doctor shortly and would get new scripts. Obviously I was irritated and decided to look into Canadian Pharmacies. I found 4 scripts to be cheaper by one half and without any BS from United Healthcare and for that reason I will be going to the Original Medicare. I’ll finish this in the next post.

  52. L. Edwin Dodson, MD

    You are sadly deluded mhodger. Obama Care is the major cause of the skyrocketing of insulin prices. As a physician I can verify that tremendous increases in all costs for medical care have occurred in lockstep with the unnecessary imposition of Obama Care on the US population. Who do you think is going to pay for the billions he stole from Medicare to finance his ill conceived plan? Obviously the Medicare recipients are going to pay for this, and they are, for the most part, on low, fixed incomes.

  53. I have been on insulin for fifty years, and insulin pump for twenty five years. In the late 90’s I was changed from regual insulin to humalog which at the time cost about fifty dollars. Now it is costing two hundred and fourteen dollars. Because of the cost I am going back to regular insulin which cost twenty five dollars. I realize I will have to make adjustments but being on a fixed income I see no other options. I can’t belive someone can’t see what is happening and stop this gouging of diabetic’s.

  54. The rise in the price of insulin Dr. Dodson has nothing to do with the ACA. the main problem is that Medicare. under the Pharma industry written “Part D”, does not and never has had any ability to negotiate drug prices with big Pharma. So, they can charge what they want with impunity. In truth, The ACA has cut my drug costs from what they would have otherwise been because the gap has been reduced. You know very well that your Republican talking point, that Medicare has stolen billions from Medicare, is disingenuous at best. What was done was to eliminate fat cat payments to insurers that have no direct or indirect impact on provider costs. And if you care to look at what is happening to premium costs under the ACA, you might be surprised to see that in comparison with increases before the ACA, premium costs are looking to be lower. You may be a provider, but I was one that had to pay the bills and negotiate for insurance coverage for the companies I worked for. And, as a diabetic I am well aware that insulin prices were high before the ACA. Look at Canada, where they have a single payer system with the payer negotiating drug prices with Big Pharma and I think the real problem becomes obvious. What big Pharma loses in Canada it will want to make up elsewhere. Now where do you suppose they can most easily do that?

  55. To Bryan East: Wow, as far as I’m concerned you got yourself quite a deal. The other day I checked on the price of Lantus; back in June 2014, it cost me $200 a vial. Now it’s going to run me $285! And this is from one of the cheapest of pharmacies in Philadelphia, PA.

  56. Obamacare’s culpability for rising drug cost is mostly just a red herring. A convenient fob upon which to place blame for big Pharma’s corporate extortion.

  57. It seems as though Insulin should be one of the less expensive drugs since diabetes was first diagnosed in 1925 and Insulin was first made in the same year. It was developed when there was no FDA! Why this stuff is so expensive is simply based on pharmaceutical companies taking advantage of patient’s need for the drug, the FDA putting to many demands on the pharmaceutical companies, the dreaded “doughnut-hole.”

    I was rescued by my doctor getting me qualified to get my Lantus free until the doughnut hole disappears in the new calendar year. Otherwise I would have been a member of the walking dead!

  58. Add my name to the list.i read many of these posts and I am in the same boat.i turned 65 in may of this year.i was getting my apridia free .why because of a recall.but since it was available using a vial dispense with a needle I stayed with the drug.yesterday I went to my CVS pharmacy and bought my usual insulin got 2 boxes of Lantus and I thought a vial of apridia. The Lantus prior to this moth was 38 I am in the feared donut hole.i also bought a 30 day supply of invomet.those 3 prescriptions set me back 588.00 dollars!omg!I am still in a shock wave.what the hell does someone without financial means to do.and by no means can I afford this long.i guess we just die early.i was looking at Canada but not sure I can get this one is not on Obama .more than likely mr.bush and Medicare part d .know get negotiating for a drug here but not so in canad.i tried humalog and it did not work fact after going off invoking I freaking gained 25 pounds.25 pounds that I previously lost.i am so disgusted and depressed.

  59. I have been a Type 1 diabetic for the past 40 years. up until a few years ago Humalog would cost me around $35 a bottle. It is now around $80 a bottle!! Medicare is not much better. The copay is $125 for a three moth supply but the catch here is, the full amount per bottle is then added to the infamous “donut hole” which has a cut off price meaning a much higher price is then charged on ALL prescriptions. This is absolutely ridiculous! Now add Lantus to the mix. The cost of Lantus is around $180 a bottle, which is up from around $80. Why haven’t the member of the Us Congress stepped up to take some action here?

  60. Hello…Here in Australia, if you are on a subsidised Govt.benefit, we can buy 25 NovoRapid FlexPens for $6 AUD. (This is one script from the Doctor)
    I had heard medicines we’re more expensive in the States, but this a massive difference.
    My husband has a monthly biological infusion for RA and this is $6 compared to $2,500.00 per month..currently we are on the Safety Net as we have spent the required amount, to now go on to free scripts till 31st December 2014.
    We are both on the Govt. Pensions so have a Health Care card which gives us discounted scripts.

  61. “After all the main impact on providers is to increase the patient base by permitting more to obtain insurance.”

    Yeah, gee, I would just LOVE to get paid less than what will allow me to keep a practice open. The reimbursements for those patients are low. So low, it’s almost worth it to go cash-only and not accept those with that type of insurance (which is what is happening).

    Then, you’ll have the audacity to complain about wait times, and the amount of time you get to see your doc. Think about it, you go to school for roughly 1/6th of your life (12 years : 4 years bachelors + 4 years Med school + plus 4 year IM residency) plus pay malpractice and try to run a business, and you want to pay them just enough to live on?

    For a long time, I disliked the right-wing tinged term, “low information voter”. But mhodger you fit the definition exactly.

    It has everything to do with ObamaCare(ACA). There is a direct correlation in rise of drug price (not to mention a few other things) to the enactment of this Tax. Just an FYI, that was the only way the mandate was constitutional, judge Roberts ruled it was a tax. Otherwise we would not have this travesty foisted upon us by well-meaning idiots.

  62. I live in TN, USA, and have been diabetic my whole life. I’m 22, and I’m seeing these insulin prices skyrocket so fast, it’s becoming more and more stressful to afford it all. One bottle of Novlog costs me $32 (which is the “discounted” price my insurance company gives me) and Lantus costs $80 (again, the “discounted” prices from my insurance.) I asked a pharmacist one time why this costs so much and he said that it’s possibly also due to the cost of narcotics; folks misusing these medicines is getting costly, so he deemed it plausible that that’s why when the prices of those go up, so does everything else. But it doesn’t make sense to me, this stuff.

  63. Just bought a 10 ml bottle of Lantus in Uman, Mexico. the cost was $65 US !

  64. Hi my name is Will, I’m 36 year old male with Type 1, I have insurance but my deductible is very very high and it does not cover my insulin until the deductible is met. I can’t afford to meet the deductible for the insulin so I’m having to rely on a few doctor friends that are helping me with samples. Ok this does not make sense! Listen logical people, What if I don’t give myself the insulin I need, then I have complications that will cost my insurance company a whole whole lot more money than just covering the insulin before the deductible. Wouldn’t you think insulin should be considered as a preventive measure? I would think insurance company’s would try to give it to us free and try to shove the insulin down our throat to get us to take it to prevent much more cost with complications.

  65. I have a 4K deductible under a regular private plan thru my company. While still under the deductible, I paid $200/bottle for a 20-day supply of Levemir. Once I met my deductible, the price dropped to $40/bottle. Clear profiteering by the pharmaceutical companies. The medical supply industry as a whole will never allow a full-blown cure for diabetes as a multi-billion dollar industry would collapse.

  66. im at 80-20 my 20% cost is $67.17 for lantus solostar 100 unit/ml is over $350 when im on deductible..crazy expensive..going on cpl years of use…what are the other options?..not sure ill ever retire with around 4k in insulin cost per year to keep me relatively healthy!

  67. My husband uses Humulin R U 500 insulin it retails for over $1000.00 per bottle which lasts 20 days. when in the hole it costs us 440.00 per bottle this doesn’t even include the 8 other medications he has to take to live. Or mine for that matter. We are just over the amount of income to get help. And Eli Lilly won’t help if you have Medicare Part D. What the hell are people supposed to do. You aren’t allowed to carry a secondary insurance to help with costs when you are in an Advantage plan and if you have regular Medicare a secondary really doesn’t help that much, because after they pay out 1000.00 you are on your own.

  68. Read my post we’ll trade you prices any day.

  69. This is one of our most commented on articles. We wish we had more resources to offer the countless Americans who are struggling to afford insulin. Here’s an article we came across today with some potential solutions:

  70. I just spent time talking to Medicare this morning. If you are covered by Medicare and use a pump insulin should be covered by Part B. Not a lot of providers do this and the list on seems to be mail order goods. The reason to go out the way to get a supplier who will charge it to Part B is that it won’t put you into the Donut Hole prematurely. You still have a 20% co-pay and it you have a gap policy they will take care of that.
    I’ve been on a pump since 1980 or so and we used to use Humulin, then Humulin R, and now Novolog and Humalog. You probably can get away with an older insulin but might google and see if there are any problems you might run into if you make the switch.

  71. There are specific pharmacies that will sell insulin to you under Part B. I just found out that Walmart, where I’ve been getting it for years, is not a Medicare provider. I’m not sure why they provide my strips without co-pay but they do. Maybe they have agreed to cover the meter and strips category but not the insulin. If you go to and click on “Find suppliers of medical equipment and supplies” on the left side of the page towards the bottom; on the next page give your zip code; and on the next page select(under “Non-competitive Bid Categories” both “Infusion Pumps & Supplies: External Infusion” and “Infusion Pumps & Supplies: Insulin Infusion” you will get a list of nearby providers who will sell to you under Part B. They seem to be mostly mail order in my area. Get away from Part D asap if the insulin is driving you into the Donut Hole.

  72. Pharmacies are required to refrigerate insulin, you are not. It is a protein. Don’t freeze it and don’t let it get too hot.

  73. Yeah this is utter BS.

    I fully intend to start buying insulin from Canada, even if it means I have to move to Canada WITH my business.

    You don’t want me to make sure I can afford the meds that I need to SURVIVE, then you don’t want my tax dollars or job creation either.

    Profit on life-or-death meds should be illegal. Period.

  74. Here’s a more updated article with potential resources: Let us know if any of them work for you.

  75. Nothing was stolen from Medicare. The millions given to companies selling so called ‘Advantage Plans’ was eliminated. These companies still sell their plans while deceiving the public. Signing up for Advantage Plans removes you from Medicare and allows the insurance company to set up networks with physicians and eliminates choices. Ask the physicians and you find while they do accept Medicare they will not be part of a Medicare Advantage Plan in many cases. It was another Republican privitization of Medicare scheme to promote insurance company profits. Drug prices are not included in the ACA and it has nothing to do directly with rising costs. Since drug profits were being reduced under ACA they responded with higher prices to maintain their profits.

  76. We need to write to our senators and President and let them know what is going on. We need to bombard them with letters. I’ve been diabetic for 30 years. I worked in factories and paid my dues. This isn’t right.

  77. My dogs’ insulin went from $58 to $98 n a month. this is crazy!

  78. I was doing some research today to see about changing my insulin. I have been a type 1 diabetic for 37 years. In that time I have seen the prices of insulin and diabetic supplies take a major increase. I am sad to see the prices of Lantus as I find that I am no longer getting good results with my usual Humulin NPH. I also supplement with Humulin R. I thought Lantus might give me better results but I can’t afford to use it. I have a Medicare Advantage plan and Lantus is not even in their formulary. Right now at Walmart I can get my NPH for $24.99 a vial. I do not requrie a prescription so buy it without the asistance of insruance as using insurance would actually cost me more out of pocket than I pay privately.Pharmacuetical companies know they have us over a barrel. We must have the medicaiton to survive so they can charge however much they want. Greedy profitiers if you ask me! Before Human insulin came along the prices of beef and pork insulins were on the rise because the pharmaceutical companies said it was a “limited” supply. So, they came up with this human made version. Now they claim it is a “special” process to make it. Frustrating!

  79. RX suppliers are gouging. my wife’s insulin trippled this month.

  80. I’d give anything to get the deal you have. 10 Ml Lantus 289 and Novolog 219 in NC with Blue Cross.

  81. this is ridiculous. we have the technology to develop more accurate action of insulin to simulate the pancreas yet we can’t afford it. i’m in the dread medicare donut hole and cannot afford my novolog or lantus, so i’ve switched to regular and N, much different actions than the aforementioned insulins. so here i am, having to literally go back to the old, less effective insulins because of these greedy groping mother f*cking big pharm companies.

  82. I came across this site when I was looking into getting my U500 insulin covered because the price has risen dramatically and medicare’s 20% may put it out of reach. I noticed some others posted about being in the donut hole and not able to afford their insulin. I used this program a few years ago when I didn’t have any insurance and it is awesome. Novo Nordisk has a patient assistance program that will cover uninsured and insured that fall in the donut hole (proof required), if you meet the income guidelines, so I thought I would share if it might help someone else. If you qualify you just fill out the application give it to your doctor and have him/her fill in the prescription part and they fax it in, the company sends you a 120 day supply of insulin/medication to the doctors office where you can pick it up, provided you have a doctor that will participate. Here is a link to the website with the covered medications and application.

  83. Thanks very much for sharing this resource Rick! I’m sure it can help some people.

  84. Type 1 (“brittle”) 50+ years. Humalog is costing me $242 per vial and Lantus is now a whopping $273 – this is the lowest price I can find at the local CVS here in Cape Cod, MA. Rite Aid charges approx 10-15% above that! The only cost savings I have made for my regiment was switching from the AccuChek strips to the True Test strips, which cut those costs by nearly half. The state of MA (“Taxachusetts”) used to charge a 6% non-refundable state tax on prescription drugs. That’s right, a 6% tax on a disease that I did not choose to have when it started when I was 6.

  85. Levemir has jumped almost $60.00 since summer 2014.

  86. Hi, type 1 for 20 years. I am 32 years old now and have been buying insulin on my own for 15 years. In the last 15 years I have been seeing the dramatic increase in cost become clearer and clearer. I have health insurance but it is a catastrophic plan through my employer and it is all I can afford. With that plan I just purchased Humalog Pens and Levimir Pens. My out of pocket cost for the Humalog was $401.60, the Levimir around $380.00. I finally ran out of Pen Needles, because when you reuse them over and overy they get dull and not very sanitary. I paid $68.00 today for 200 pen needles. So I’ve come to the realization that unless I spend $15,000 per year on a good Healthcare plan I cannot afford my much needed medication. I don’t know for sure but I’m almost 100% positive that the cost of manufacturing, shipping, and a profit margin for the pharmacies is no where near the cost I pay out of my pocket to get the medication I need to live a healthy life. If anyone has any plan or ideas to change this situation please do so. And let me know too because this is apsolutely rediculous!

  87. I just refilled my cat’s insulin. Since there is no insurance for an animal, I call around each time to find who has it the cheapest. My choices ranged from 65% ($165.00) to 99% ($199.00) more than I paid two months ago. He takes a U-40 insulin, so the vial gets used up 2.5 times more quickly than U-100 insulin does. To get the same number of units of insulin that are in one U-100 vial will cost $165.00 x 2.5 = $412.50. I skimp on my grocery shopping to pay for his insulin. What a disgrace for our country!

  88. jut had a phone call from my pharmacy advising me my co pay for Levemir went from $45 last refill to over $135. Looked around to see what the range in price for non insured was…. the average cost is now over $350 for a vial. I’m writing to my senators.

  89. Thank you! Will try!

  90. I go through one vial of Humalog and Lantus insulins every month which costs me an average of $110 to $120 per month on co-pays for both medications combined. And i also have to work at a job I can’t stand just to have affordable company provided health insurance, where I’d rather go back to work as a stone counter top fabricator where I had no health insurance and paid full price for my medication which at the time was only $75 for one insulin and $80 for the other type that I have to use. I’m just may have to talk to my doctor about cheaper insulin alternatives. And sometimes I feel like the rising costs of my medication might be leading to some form of depression because I cry every time I notice my co-pay cost go up.

  91. I’ve been using the Kroger (King Soopers) brand meter and test strips. The test strips cost about $30 per 100ct and I think the meter cost me less than $20. But try finding a store brand meter if you can it should be a lot cheaper in the long run because I used to use one of the freestyle meters where the test strips cost me about $105 per 100ct.

  92. our dog is diabetic last month we paid 24.oo at walmart for her humelin n insulin. this month it was 87.00 can’t get a straight answer from the pharmacy why this is,

  93. Thanks for sharing this info. What if you don’t have a doctor, no insurance? Just found out about being diabetic thru going to ER crazy never knew I had it. Can’t afford medical insurance or doctors visits out of pocket. Any ideas of the cheapest place to go for doctors? Thanks

  94. Sorry to hear it! You might check out your local community health care center. Typically they have a sliding scale for treatment.

  95. a friend is paying 1079.00 month just for Lantus. Eating their breakfast lunch and dinner! Some Rich SOB getting all their cash…..this is just wrong! When someone going to do something about robbing the public!!!

  96. I grew up on R and NPH Insulin. Since the introduction of better analog insulins my BS is under better control. The problem is the cost’s of these drugs! Every time I go to the pharmacy I feel completely violated by big pharma, and abandoned by elected officials who are supposed to protect us from monopolies and price gouges. We need these meds to live! Alas, no one seems to care that a lot of people have to cut back on their insulin and food intake just to survive. There is too much money being made on the sick, and too much of that money finds it’s way to Washington to avoid legislation forcing Pharma co’s to do the humane, decent, and ethical thing.

  97. Pingback: Our most popular content of 2014 | RxRights

  98. Last year a bottle of Novolog without insurance was $280.00 with insurance I paid $100.00 for two bottles. This year I have to pay $435.00 for two bottles a month with insurance. So Diabetics have to die so people can get rich! Make sense ??? This is 2014-2015

  99. I tried that–they don’t answer, except with a form letter that has nothing to do with your question. Get your friends to vote Democrat, with single payer–it’s our only hope. I spend part of every year in Europe, where my Lantus is $100 a month instead of $400

  100. TYPE 1 for 48 years: Ten years ago, my insulin pens and glucose strips were $20 co-pay with our insurance. Five years ago, co-pay went to $50 and now that our insurance switched to ObamaCare, our co-pays are $70 for each prescription and Dr. appointments are $70. I can no longer afford my prescriptions!!! How can I help pay for others on ObamaCare when I need financial help? I know an employee that makes BG strips and the cost to make them is 1.2 cents each. Pharmaceutical greed is going to kill us all.

  101. I am a veterinarian. We are using Novolin N. It is the same as Humulin N. We have changed all our canine diabetics to this brand of insulin. The price at Walmart is $25.00. No prescription is requred.



  103. I have two children with type 1, and our cost for insulin went from a $60 copay for a 46 day supply (that is for one child) all the way up to as much as $350 at our local pharmacy. The lowest cost option is to switch to a by mail pharmacy (not sure if they’ll even ship insulin now), and that is $205 for a 46 day supply. That increases our annual cost from $960 to $3280 at our local pharmacy. I don’t know what we are going to do!!! My husband works for Mayo, and we chose the premium plan! You would think if anyone would be provided an inexpensive option, it would be the family of a Mayo employee.

  104. Go to Wal-mart and get their Relion Glucose meter for $19.99. 50 test strips will set you back only $9.95 each time. Cheaper then co-pays….

  105. I am a 63 years old type II diabetic and use 3 vials of novolog each month, so I will be in the doughnut hole very soon and have a terrible time trying to balance my bills along with my medication. I have discussed this with my doctor and last year managed to get some “samples” to get through the year. I just do not have the money to pay the cost now in 2015. I suppose the choice to eat or be alive will ultimately be mine to decide soon. We used to be a country with all the safety nets to help others. I worked for a living until I became disabled and was forced on disabilty. I make too much for medicaid, but not enough to cover my expenses as things are now and the cost is going up yet again this year. This Obamacare that has taken over our citizens lives is terrible. Before we were all forced into this nightmare of government control, we had choices. We still have choices now, but they are dire ones. Do I pay all I have for medicine or just do without and die.

  106. You are blaming the cost of insulin on Obamacare? Maybe you should stop watching Fox “News” and get a clue. Do you think you could even get any insurance, being a diabetic, without the Affordable Care act? Stop blaming those that are trying to help you. Turn in your tea bags and re-join humanity!

  107. And get short acing insulin from Walmart it is less than $32.00
    Don’t burden your family from the cost of insulin. Look online for cost savings to help you and your family, or enroll in clinical trials to help the burden of cost. There are so many options to look into and the Internet should help you find these options. Good luck

  108. Just because you are brainwashed into believing the Leftist propaganda machine doesn’t give you the right to insult those of us that disagree with you. You are insane if you blame the extreme rise in healthcare on anything else but Obamacare. The evidence is everywhere and if this is how you feel, that is your opinion, but you might want to rethink your opinion and stop insulting other Americans that do not agree with you.

  109. Anyone who is having difficulty affording insulin should look into their nearest Federally Funded Health Center, in the U.S. It may be possible to purchase insulin at a reduced rate, even if you have insurance. Here is the link to search for the center nearest you.

    These centers receive grant money to purchase the insulin and provide it to the community at a significantly reduced rate.

    Hope this helps.

  110. I just became Medicare eligible. I purchased a drug plan to accompany A and B. I placed my 1st drug order and was told the cost would be $323 for a 3 month supply. I received a call back from the mail-in company a few days later and was told that the cost is really $577 and that I would fall into the coverage gap (donut hole) after the 1st purchase. I was told that Novolog is a tier 3 generic drug and would be covered. Apparently a 3 month supply is over $1800 so the co-pay is correct. I am outraged and cannot afford this cost. My old insurance always covered my insulin and the cost was nothing like this.

  111. Jim and NotInsane, while we want this to be a forum where folks can express their opinions and frustrations, let’s be careful not resort to personal attacks.

  112. While all of us can argue our opinions on the cause of this massive increase in the cost of prescription drugs, it is my hope that this forum can be a vehicle to share ideas that will be helpful in getting affordable medicine. I am on an insulin pump and anyone with any ideas as to how to get affordable insulin, in my case novolog vials for my medtronic diabetes pump would be helpful. Again, I make too much for medicaid and not enough to afford medicines that I need to survive.

  113. If you check the price in Canada and elsewhere outside the U.S. you will find this is happening here in the U.S. I was able to get my Novolog insulin from Canada for a few years when I entered the Plan D hole at a cost of $45. It went up in price in 2014 in the U.S. to where I was advised to get my VA benefits and did. Now I get my prescriptions for free including Novolog and Lantus. I understand the VA negotiates drug prices while the Republican Medicare Plan D prevents it. It is wise the search for Novolog as Novascor outside the U.S., same manufacturer, and you will find a supplier, though fewer of them.

  114. With a Medicare Supplement policy you can avoid paying the 20% for anything.

  115. My job just recently eliminated our PPO plan option. With that plan I was paying 100.00 a year for my insulin. When the new plan I had to change to it’s now going to cost me over 3200.00 a year. I can’t even get assistance because I’m single, no dependents and barely make over the limit for the manufacturers program. But then again because I have insurance that disqualifies me immediately. I don’t get it, why would they rather risk patients not taking their insulin and then pay even more for dialysis instead. Really stupid if you ask me. But hey I think they cover that 100%, maybe I should do that or quit my job. Oh wait I can’t do that either cause I have no dependents so I wouldn’t get help then either. What a joke!

  116. Sorry James but the Medicare Supplement only covers a total annual maximum benefit of $2,960 this includes you co-payments& the amount the insurance company pays for each prescription. It is sinful that diabetics are having to wipe out their savings for the benefit of Pharmaceutical companies that pay congressmen for favorable legislation & provide congressional children free college educations and offer them good paying jobs after college.
    I wrote to Meet the Press & explained the issue saying if this if the way congress is going to take care of its citizens then when we become ill open a Dr. Kevorkian clinics every few miles where we can check in and never check out like the Hotel California. Needless to say, there was no response.

  117. It is amazing & a little know fact that pharmaceutical companies also pay insurance companies every quarter for the insurance company to use their drug over that of another manufacture on the insurance company’s drug formulary.


  119. I have insurance, but they are only covering one type of insulin now, which does not work for me. I can’t afford the insulin that does work and because I work and have insurance I am not able to get any assistance.

  120. I understand how you feel. I worked for a chain pharmacy in 1994. R and NPH insulin cost 14.25 a bottle. Now 20 years later that same bottle is upper 90’s to a 100’s for the same insulin. Diabetes is a multi-billion dollar industry and I do not see any help soon. I have heard that lantus is going generic soon, as well as, humalog and novolog. I hope this happens quickly.

  121. I am uninsured but since I don’t have minor children and am working (not disabled) I can’t receive any type of assistance. Neither is there a reasonably priced healthcare plan out there (including the Obamacare options) that I can sign up for. A single vial of Lantus is $263 for me. There are coupons out there but only for people who have insurance. I was also taking Symlin and that was over $400 for a month supply. My Humalog was also between $250- $260.

  122. Be careful with the relion meter. make sure you test it with a control solution and compare to a quality brand matter at least once a month. Every one I’ve had was off by by 50-100 points consistently. 🙁

  123. Julie I shop at Walmart and can get Novolog over the counter for $25.00 in both R and N this is the best deal around so far.Try the over the counter approach with Walmart it will save you a ton of money and frustration

  124. Thank you for this article. I am Type 1 and on Humalog and Lantis. The price increases over the past few years have been staggering. I work full time and have “insurance coverage,” however, monthly costs average about $500 because my annual deductible is $6k. I pay around $400 for Lantus (box of 5 pens) and slightly less for Humalog. I have stopped going to all other doctors so that I can afford to see my endocrinologist just once a year to keep my prescriptions (rather than the 3x/year he would like me to come in). (Blood work is about $350 per draw, but that’s another issue!) My husband and I are living paycheck to paycheck and it’s infuriating because it wouldn’t be the case, were I not insulin dependent. I’ve had to juggle some pretty important bills too. Really hope generics are on the near horizon and that they will make a difference in my life and budget!!!

  125. I am in the same boat. I feel like I could have written your post. Thank you for sharing – please let me know if you come up with any viable alternatives!

  126. When I was first prescribed Novolog in 2002/03, it’s cost was $65 for my out of pocket reimbursement insurance. That was the total cost. My Lantus was $85. Now 13 years later, the same insulin costs $255 for the Novolog. I’ve switched to Levemir, but it is now $275. $785 for a one month supply. My mother worked for Warner Lambert and then Pfizer and these drugs are sold at near cost outside the U.S., but here at home, where out medical/insurance system is broken, these same drugs are sold at exorbitant prices so the pharmaceutical companies can rake in the entire profit margin. A lot of people are against socialized healthcare because the cost and perception that they will receive inferior care, but the reality is that in socialized healthcare systems, the government sets prices for drugs and procedures and companies are forced to accept what in reality is quiets reasonable compensation for these products and services. In the U.S. these companies pay for legislation that garners them unbelievable leeway in how much they charge. Where a knee replacement surgery costs $12,000 in Canada, it costs $75,000 here. The doctors and hospitals submit their high number and the insurance companies counter until the final price is somewhere in the middle and still far greater than what the procedure costs in regulated markets. I lost my job in the recession and had a COBRA plan until its expiration. In order to continue coverage my premium skyrocketed from $475 a month to $1200 for a plan that didn’t even provide perscription coverage, which as I noted before, was nearly $800 for insulin plus $250 more for test strips, syringes and various other supplies. They don’t care that they price an unemployed person into destitution or death. They’ll save money in not having to insure you and then count the profits from selling more drugs to an ever growing market. A sad, social irresponsible and reprehensible story of abuse of the aforementioned broken system.

  127. I feel your pain, my humalog quikpens are 505.00 for 5 pens, that don’t usually last the month, unless I skip some meals.

  128. Unfortunately, it’s not just insulin that the pharma companies are raping people for. I think the more the patients require any drug (i.e. to stay alive), the more they are charged for them. Corporate greed is easy to see. Stockholder greed is ruining this country. I’m a long time diabetic and now am looking into alternative treatment methods. My wife and I make too much money to get help. As all of you know, if I want to live, I have to pay (even if I go bankrupt trying to do so). Also, the pharmacies aren’t going broke either.

  129. Having reviewed many of your comments, it’s easy to see that we’re all in the same boat. I’ve never been a real activist, but I’m getting the feeling that if I don’t become one, nobody will care (except us that is).

    So what’s the answer? I’ve written my congressman, my senator and every one else that I can think of. They have all been very polite while telling me they have this and that in the works (lies all). I can tell you that I feel that big changes in Washington MUST be made. One of them is allowing companies to pay our elected officials (through legal processes), to advocate for them. This is so wrong. Another thing we need to change is term limits. These people get in office and never leave (therefore being bought off by more and more lobbyists). It’s a never ending cycle of greed.

    I don’t have to explain the drug situation, as we all certainly understand it. Forums are nice, and we can all complain and state our positions, but alas, it doesn’t skin the cat.

    Thanks for allowing me do state mine.

  130. This is only February and I have already reached ‘the gap’ or ‘donut hole’ as my insurance company explains. The reason? Insulin. My insulin, Humalog and Lantus costs @$1800.00 per month W/O insurance. I am on Medicare and SS is less than this amount. I sat down and cried this afternoon when I discovered why my Insulin was not covered. I cannot afford it and am in despair. What do people do? Last year I ran into this in September…but this this year in Feb. My Doctor put me on 70/30 last year ,[ $25.00 a bottle at Wal-mart.] but it doesn’t work well at all. My blood glucose ran between 220-450. I do not understand why Insulin costs so much. Does anyone have any ideas on what to do?

  131. I have BCBS of Alabama and we have to use Express Scripts. I have a $3600.00
    deductible and 8 vials of Humalog U-100 was $1473.00.

  132. I am 53 and we have a $2,500 deductible here in Michigan. I am supposed to take 100 units a day of Lantus. About two months ago I paid $1,100 for just “3” boxes (5 pens in each box). I have only been taking 40 units a day to conserve. I saw my doctor last week and my AC1 was 9.7. Besides not eating and walking more, I have no idea what to do.

  133. This is insane! I’ve been a Type 1 diabetic since I was 11 months old. I just turned 60 and am still in pretty good health. But, the cost of Humalog, out of pocket co-pays, has gone through the roof! After switching insurance providers again from the available ones provided at my employer (fourth switch in five years), I just got two bottles of Humalog at Walgreens (Express-Scripts) for $51.00/ bottle…co-pays. Compared to some of the other applicants on this site, that seems like a bargain! My God, a couple of years ago, when I had Prudential, it was $15.00 a bottle. I was livid! And hearing what some of you had to pay, from your comments, makes this even more outrageous! If the monopoly pharmaceutical companies, and their friends at the F.D.A. and stock holding politicians, keep gouging us in this manner, then the only appropriate action is to sue them anytime someone is afflicted because they cannot afford their provided medication. If a number of civil suits would be carried against them, based on economic discrimination and monopolizing patent-controlled protective rights on medications deemed essential for affected consumers, then there might be a change of plans for introducing generic and affordable alternatives to these designated medications. Another thing…CEO’s with these pharmaceutical companies need to publicly divulge the amount of their yearly bonuses and salaries, just to show how much of our hard-earned money is given to them because of our rights for caring for ourselves and our beneficiaries. One more thing, from my personal experiences…Humalog doesn’t have to be refrigerated. I keep a vial in my diabetic bag, if needed; and, I wear an insulin pump. I work outside and inside, where the temperatures range from 32 to 104 degrees duri9ng the year. The ‘clear’ insulin didn’t have any side-effects in this temperature differentials! Therefore, not shipping Humalog across borders, cross-country, etc. is a greed-induced lame excuse by the F.D.A. and their affiliates with the different Px corporations. Capitalism is based on competition from businesses, large and small, to provide the best available product at an affordable price. The large pharmaceutical companies strangle us with their monopolization practices (which is against the law, if you’re taking note Washington D.C.) and overcharging consumers by deferring costs of their constant barrage of television advertisement to the public, also. THIS CRAP HAS GOT TO STOP! The Px companies are actually killing people with their greed! One more rant: My 87-year-old mother had a fall, and the office manager called 911, instead of her hospice care providers. The ambulance company charged her $758.00 to transport her two miles to the hospital…and you don’t think the health industry needs change?!?

  134. My boyfriend has diabetes type 2 with bad neuropathy. His blood sugar was under control until Medicare changed his insurance to Aetna. He lives on SSD only and I’ve tried to qualify him for more assistance with no luck. His distance vision has decreased dramatically just over the past two weeks and his blood pressure is extremely low. He can’t afford his lantis or humalog and i don’t make enough to help. I am so upset and angry that I will sue the insurance company and drug companies if he dies. This is inexcusable! I believe that Obama’s stupid health plan is a big part of the problem and that he is purposefully trying to kill off the poor and week.

  135. My own insurance costs have tripled since Obamacare came into play. I can no longer afford to go to the dr. Even with a job.

  136. My obamacare doesn’t provide any help until I meet a cap of 1300. Considering a only made 19,000 last year it’s a huge blow. I just spent $409.00 for my humalog and $384.00 on my Lantus. once again leaving me completely broke. a 29 year old adult that wound otherwise be homeless except my parents took me back in. I can’t afford to see the doctors. I have real bills from car and school debt and just couldn’t afford to pay rent and eat at the same time. It feels hopeless.

  137. a lot of the drug companies have discount cards that will take copay down to $25 or less-HOWEVER, they cannot be used with medicare/medicaid OR OBAMACARE PURCHASED INSURANCE. SOME then have patient assistance programs for lower income who cannot afford their medication-google your medication and go to their site-don’t fall for the many ‘coupons’ which are randome ‘discount cards’-go straight to manufacturer. Novonordisk will provide free medication but ship it to your doctor, novolog, lantus and levemir have savings cards (again-depends on insurance). I know someone who got so frustrated, they searched the net for 3 days, made major life changes in diet/carbs and exercise and literally got off oral, insulin and cholesterol meds. it’s a shame to see medicaid patients with ZERO copay still not take their medication, requiring frequent ER visits and hospital stays while those struggling to afford meds and doing the right things are the ones are ripped off.

  138. try applying for medicaid for prescription coverage

  139. disqus_t0RkOnWGvs

    I wish I could ease your mind, but all I can do is share your struggle. You could TRY supplementing your Lantus with NPH. As a child, I had terrible reactions to it, but I’ve heard of people cutting their Lantus requirement this way. I use R instead of shots of the more expensive fast acting and don’t eat carbohydrates. R is cheap and OTC at Walmart. I’m not sure if you can get NPH OTC.

  140. Obamacare, Affordable Health Care Act -?? ha! We were scraping by until those 2 came into our life. I resent having to help others pay for theirs. Our copays doubled in price. To all those that profit from blood glucose test strips and insulin: you should be ashamed…which is the nicest thing I can think of to say.

  141. NPH and R insulin will kill you. Trust me…I almost died about 50 times while on those insulins!!!

  142. Has anybody ever thought that maybe it’s the pharmaceutical and insurance companies that are purposely raising the cost so that people don’t want Obamacare. Why would they want people going out and getting preventative care so that they don’t get sick often and aren’t dependent on drugs and hospitals to be healthy. If you catch things in time and take care of yourself then there is no need to constantly take that blood pressure medication or learning better was to reduce the amount of insulin you are dependent on. I’m not trying to attack any of the people in here but my point of view is from the healthcare professional side. I see the same people in the hospital day in and day out and if they had only been taught to take care of themselves or went to see the doctor more than just once every 10 years things would be much better. It cost a whole lot less for someone to go to their doctor and find out they have stage 1 cancer then for them to not have insurance at all and wait until they are in stage 4 and come to the hospital to get things taken care of. That is the reason why Insurance, hospital cost and medications go up. You think that when there was no Obamacare that you weren’t shelling out money for people who didn’t have insurance. That’s very funny because from what I saw they still went up every year.

  143. I a paying $173 a month for medicare part d but there is no donut hole. 3 month supply maxes out at $150. However for lantus 2 boxes are all I can get as it comes out to a 75 day supply. I am paying 25% of my income for premiums and copays. You cannot win

  144. Not just the price but my copay for levemir is now $1000 for a three month supply. At $143 a vial, thats not something I can afford…if I want to eat too that is. My company uses UnitedHealthCare for prescriptions as they just bought our old pharma. With our old provider, if we used mail in options, it was affordable.

    I’m to the point now that I need to stretch my insulin while I argue the case.

  145. Robert Kretzmeier

    Try vials instead. Much more value than pens, but inconvenient. Go across border to Canada, go to any Pharmacy (I use Safeway out West), and even without an Rx, you can get their version of Novolog (Nov Rapid) and Lantus (Lantus) for about $25 and $50 each vial respectively.
    No Rx needed, but I always declare when coming back to US.

  146. Audra has a zero copay with there assistance card I just spent 2 months with out insurance and have 6 vials of insulin for free.

  147. NovolinR,a substitute for Humalog,can be purchased in vial form for $24.88 at Wal-Mart with no prescription required.

  148. Enforcement of the Sherman Antitrust Act would fix the healthcare problems here in the US. These greedy CEOs need to be prosecuted and jailed. Where are the handcuffs?

  149. Kill you? Those are the only 2 insulin’s I use to control my glycohemoglobin levels. The key is understanding your body & fine-tuning the dosage. I’m not going to pay extortionate prices for either Lantus or Levemir.

  150. I have “Obamacare” in Nevada and YES I get Lantus for $ 25.00 a month (10 Pens), unlike Medicare where you fall into the Doughnut Hole almost Immediately. However with my Blood Monitoring I find 1 Hour of Daily Cardio MORE effective by far (100 points) than the Lantus Insulin.

  151. Please contact Lantus Directly – I pay $ 25.00 per month (credited towards my 6K Deductible in Nevada) with their Discount Card. Medicare Part D patients get to thank G.W. Bush and Republicans for the mess they created with that Pharma Give-Away.

  152. Robulin (a NFP ministry)

    Why is the FDA allowed to grant “exclusivity” for example humulin and humalog both have expired patents, but the FDA will not allow generics to come to market.

    This need to be addressed as well.

  153. I just today learned what Medicare, my supplemental policies, and I have been paying for my insulin and am appalled. Since this January alone I have paid some $1,300 out of my pocket for Lantus and Novolog above what my insurance (Medicare, including Part D, and AARP-n) have paid. As of April 13 I am once again in the notorious “doughnut hole” or coverage gap and was told I can expect to pay about $700 dollars out of pocket for a 30-day insulin supply while I’m In this gap in coverage. My wife recently passed, so my sole income now is about $1,400 a month. Needless to say, something’s rotten in the state of how American medicine is funded if a drug that’s required by some 26 million patients in this country alone, and has been around for almost 90 years, still is priced so high because, I am given to understand, insulin is not yet available generically because it is still under patent everywhere and thus continues to make some greedy pharmaceutical giants, obviously firms without much social conscience, ever more wealthy. (Whew! It feels good to get that off my chest.)

  154. I was prescribed the NovoLog Flex pen in October of 2014 and had no copay, I just reordered it for the first time (April 2015) and it’ll now cost me $432. We are a single income family with two small children and one on the way. I need this insulin every time I eat or drink something other than water. I am a healthy, young (29) mother that needs this to function and now being pregnant, I need it more than ever. I was just diagnosed with type 1 a little over a year ago. Why is the cost up so much? This is outrageous and how is my family suppose to afford this??

  155. Wow, that’s an incredible difference Michelle. Have you checked in with your insurance? Have they changed what they will cover? You might find help here:

  156. Thanks for sharing John. That is an outrageous cost. You’re right, it’s ridiculous that insulin should still cost so much. Companies continue to the jack the price up because they can. Have you looked into assistance programs? NeedyMeds is a good resource to find help. If you aren’t already, be sure to sign up for our mailing list, we are planning an action related to insulin soon.

  157. My husband just paid $600 for a one month supply of Lantus. He’s been a diabetic for two years now and just recently was told pills weren’t cutting it anymore, he needed insulin as well. Initially it was $100 because he had insurance but he doesn’t any longer.

    His boss initially paid for him to have insurance. We didn’t pay any monthly insurance cost. As a small business his boss was paying for his own, my husbands, and another managers insurance. At the end of last year however, he went from paying $200 each, $600/month in total, to paying $600 each, $1800/month in total. They all sat down, looked at the healthcare marketplace and it made sense. Well we’ve been getting the run around trying to get insurance and thought we didn’t have any. Last week, after being hospitalized for two weeks, we discovered that we both had medicaid. However when we went to get the medicine it showed him to still have healthcare through his work. We showed them the documentation we got at the hospital stating he had medicaid and they said there wasn’t anything they could do. I printed out every coupon and discount card I could find and the Walmart pharmacy said they were all invalid.

    How in the hell are we going to afford $600 a month?! That’s more than our house payment. It’s disgusting that you literally can’t afford to live.

  158. I have the same issues as the others, and none of the help sites will help people who have insurance, no matter how much you have to pay.

  159. I just received a letter from my insurance company stating that they would no longer cover Novolog insulin, which is used in the Omnipod system. They stated they would still cover the pre historic approach to treating type 1 diabetics, multiple shots and older insulin formulations
    I thought Obamacare was supposed to fix this.

  160. hello, im from France and i got my insulin “lantus” from Sanofi, 5 in the box for 75 usd a month and also i use the “rapid” (quick) called, from the same company 35 usd the box of 5 so i got for one month around 110 usd

  161. It does have to be refrigerated, it says in the instructions it will keep for 2 weeks when not refrigerated. I have put this to the test in the past.

  162. Right, so according to Wal-Mart on either side of the US-Canada border, the price of a 10ml bottle of NovoRapid/NovoLog is: $235.56 in the US and CAD$35 in Canada. The price of a 10ml bottle of Lantus is: $288.02 in the US and CAD$65 in Canada. Those are over-the-counter prices. So say you get through three bottles of Novolog and one bottle of Lantus a month, it costs $994 in the US and CAD$170 in Canada.

    So a flight on Air Canada from Miami to Toronto costs about $400 roundtrip, you can literally save hundreds of dollars by flying to Canada to buy insulin. And that’s from Miami. Say you live closer…

  163. Read the details: “Offer Details: Pay no more than $25 (up to $100 discount) when you start on a Novo Nordisk product and for each refill for up to 2 years, and no more than $20 (up to $100 discount) for the next prescribed product and each refill for up to 2 years. Offer available for a 30-day supply of Levemir® FlexPen® (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection), NovoLog® Mix 70/30 FlexPen® (70% insulin aspart protamine suspension and 30% insulin aspart injection, [rDNA origin]), and NovoLog® (insulin aspart [rDNA origin] injection). Offer is valid for a maximum of $100 off your co-pay for each 30-day supply for a maximum of 24 refills per product over 2 years. Novo Nordisk
    reserves the right to modify or cancel this program at any time.”

    So it’s $100 off the co-pay above $25, for two years. So say your co-pay is already $25, you get nothing. Say you pay OTC, then a bottle of Novolog (only one per month) goes from $235.56 to $135.56

    Not exactly stunning but better than nothing, I suppose.

  164. My Humulin R u500 by Lilly was $430 for a 20ml vial. In three years it is now $1356 per 20ml vial. WTF is up with that?

  165. I have been an insulin dependent diabetic for the past 36 years. I am on an insulin pump and have been on Humalog insulin for over 20 years. This past January, my insurance Florida Blue no longer covers Humalog (shame on Florida Blue for dismissing my problems and concerns) but rather only covers Novo products. Despite my physician requesting in writing that I stay on Humalog, my insurance plan continues to maintain that Humalog is not covered. So I have been on Novolog exclusively for the past week and a half and my blood sugars have been out of control since being on Novolog. There have been many, many incidents of my sugar either raising or dropping to life threatning levels. In addition, I have not been able to succeed in correcting these highs and lows with any amount of success. I have contacted my doctors office who once again tried to explain the medical necessity to my insurance carrier but it was to no avail as Humalog was once again denied as being covered.

    I have always tested my sugars at or more than 20-25 times per day as I try to stay as close to 120-140 as much as possible and as I work very hard to try to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Just in the last 24 hours while on Novolog, my sugar levels have exceeded 550 twice. I was 579 at 11pm, 115 at 3am then 560 again at 9 am, 140 at 1pm and 357 at 3:30pm. I NEVER had this kind of flutuations or highs and lows in my blood sugar readings as I am now and started having fluctuations in my blood sugar levels within several hours of using Novolog. I even changed from one bottle of Novolog to another as well as changing insertion sites on my stomach as well as changing tubing on my pump. This was all to no avail as my blood sugars are still going to extreme highs and lows since I have been on Novolog. I live alone since I have been on Novolog, I have been setting my alarm clock to go off throughout the nite as I am afraid I might not wake up should my sugars continue to change so drastically. Something has to be done as I have exhausted all of my efforts in trying to be placed back on Humalog. I cannot afford Humalog out of pocket at now $235 per vial.

    For me, I cannot use Novolog and there are differences noted with the peak times, duration and strength. I am going to write and contact anyone and everyone who can help me resolve this problem to get Humalog covered with my insurance once again. I am begging anyone to please try to help me in any way possible…..PLEASE. Sincerely,
    Marion 352-299-3138

  166. I’ve been a Cash Cow going on 57 years. I’m a T1 Diabetic. Silly people keep talking about a Cure. There will never be a cure for diabetes. There is just to much money made on treating it. I was told today that I needed to pay $200.00 per bottle for Humalog. So tired of it all……

  167. Marion,

    I have used both Novolog and Humalog and never experienced any of those problems with Novolog. You may have gotten a bad batch, or it could have gone bad. I would contact the pharmacy and see if they can send you some from a new batch, or see your endocrinologist.

    Good luck,


  168. last year for part of the year my copay was $8.00 today it was $129.00.25 years ago i payed$20.00 the gov. has to step cost of medications is going to be 25% of my ss benifits this insane. the gov. spends Billions abroad.when this gov. cant take care of its own it shouldnt spend 1 dollar abroad.Its a insult to the US citizens.

  169. Is are John, I not real suffer because for my very small SS income, I have thank to Republican, Medicare plus Medicaid who paid a 20% medicare not paid, also I not paid a little over 100$ most must paid. I am poor but conservative to dead, liberals must go out and paid a consequences. Are so much peoples suffer but big Pharma Gov can control if real won.

  170. A serious problem has
    been developing for 20 years. American medicine has become a culture of
    “blame the patient”. Every child is intensely marketed to by every
    processed food company on the planet. McDonalds are on every street corner. No
    one has time to actually sit down and eat with their children because of the
    nature of work today. Sugary drinks are sold by the bucket. Every day it’s
    harder to eat the way we were meant to eat. Diabetes is a prime example of a
    “blame the patient” disease. The approach disturbs me and it should disturb
    you. No one should be blamed for ill health. It’s morally indefensible to shake
    one’s finger at smokers who develop lung cancer – it’s even MORE reprehensible
    to shake one’s finger at type II diabetics. First of all the culture determines
    the lifestyle. You could argue not completely – but with the advent of
    computers that argument is weakening. In any case, even in the case of diseases
    like alcoholism there are many factors involved. Blaming the patient is,
    however, extremely dangerous for Type I diabetics. The doctors I deal with
    mostly think they should “manage” my disease. I
    don’t find that acceptable. I live with diabetes every day. I’m the one who
    must manage it. I need information and support – I don’t need admonishment and
    demands. For Type II that medical approach is even more concentrated since
    there is some truth to the lifestyle arguments. The serious problem, however,
    is that when Type I diabetes is painted with the same brush as Type II the
    misperceptions about the disease are dangerous. I’ve read many human interest
    stories talking about people who “couldn’t afford their insulin.” In Type II
    that’s not a death warrant. It Type I it is. Without insulin I’m dead in under
    two days. Well – maybe some of us would last 3 or 4 days, but the damage would
    be irreversible. If you consider the two diseases as the same, then those of us
    with Type I are in dangerous waters. The attitude has to be changed. The
    terminology has to be changed. AND we need to join forces. We’re a gold mine
    for the drug companies. The American Diabetes Association is a bunch of drug
    company supported doctors. The information it put out for years was dangerously
    incorrect. (Read ANYTHING Dr. Richard Bernstein wrote and you’ll see that. The
    person who did the most for the health of Type I diabetics is that doctor –
    who, having been Type I for 20 years realized that if he wanted to live to see
    his children grow up he’d have to figure out how to manage the disease himself
    – and he did. He became a doctor in his 40’s and changed the approach to
    treatment radically – but I digress.) The ADA has never done anything to
    advocate for diabetics. The Kidney Foundation helped pass laws that require
    dialysis for anyone who needs it. Not so for us. We die without insulin – but
    we’re on our own. We need “expensive” equipment like insulin pumps – those are
    luxuries – we can manage without. Health insurance companies have over charged
    us for years and denied coverage in more cases than anyone can count. Obama care didn’t do anything to slow the
    parasitic insurance industry but it at least meant we couldn’t be “denied” care
    by outright refusal. Now they deny the care by pricing us out of it. How long are we going to let the drug
    companies feed on us? How long are we going to put up with substandard care
    through HMOs? How long are we going to have to live in fear and anger at the
    lack of respectful, collaborative treatment and the high cost of staying alive?
    We need to organize. The perception of Type I diabetes has to be corrected or
    the drug companies will not be recognized for the parasitic, unscrupulous, and
    depraved organizations that they are. To charge $395 for a bottle of insulin
    that costs under $20 to manufacture (yes – look it up – oh yeah – I forgot –
    they had to spend money on development of a “biometric” – heavens – UH? Oh
    sorry – The Government – yes the government footed the bills for that – you and
    me did NOT THEM!! But I digress again.) How many of us are there? No one else
    cares. We need to do this together. We need a plan. Anyone have any ideas?

  171. Could we buy our insulin in Mexico then bring it back at a cheaper price?

  172. Use google to find a pharmacy in Canada, the UK or India where you can get Novorapid (same as Novolog) manufactured by same company. Some will guarantee delivery for small extra charge. Worked for me.

  173. You can now go to the job you like and apply for insurance at a fairly low cost. T his is part of what the new health law is about.

  174. You are incorrect, I pay 0 deductible and 0 copays for doctors, hospitals, and labs with my Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement F.

  175. my copay went from 60 to 129 next month it will be 170. i had to cut my insulin down from down.52 to 20 units. im living on 1 can of tuna fish a day just to keep my glu dwn

  176. Pharmacys better watch out they are going to be robed of insulin not narcotics

  177. when is the GOV.going to step in.we spend trillions abroad and they dont take care of their own people. the congressman and senators should be floged

  178. We wouldn’t recommend it. It’s a bit of a safety gamble. But then, if you can’t afford your insulin in the U.S., that’s a problem as well. 🙁

  179. John, that is horrible. Have you checked into any patient assistance programs?

  180. My Humalog (45 Units) has gone from $865 to $1,315 in 8 months. My Levemir has done just about the same. So I pay $2,600 cash at the pharmacy and have to wait for reimbursement for my insulin. How insane is that?

  181. Exactly. My mom is pharmacist and I used to warn her about getting robbed for Oxy, but I’d rather have Insulin.

  182. I think there is a plan for a class action lawsuit and I will be in the front line!

  183. I pay $168.00 for my Lantus and $200.00 a month for Hum Log. This is with Humana Walmart Part D. This is crazy and not right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  184. I take 2 insulin’s. I’m on Medicare & Medicare Advantage plan. I made the donut hole in May. I recently got paper work from the Clinic I go to, for RX assistance for my insulin’s. I’m just waiting for my Medicare Advantage Plan to mail a copy that say’s I’m in the donut hole. I did get RX assistance last year. Just hope I’ll get it this year. You can see if your Clinic has a RX assistance program.

  185. I’m a 26 year old, type 1 diabetic for 17 years. I’m going to college part time, working a full time job, and part time job both are in the health care field. I was using humalog and was told by my insurance that I had to swtich to novolog because they wouldn’t cover the other. I did this without question. When I switched my novolog cost $70 with the new year my insurance bumped it up to $488. THAT’S JUST ABOUT 7X AS MUCH!!!!!!! For the same amount and the same kind of insulin on the same insurance plan. I tried to see if I would qualify for medical assistance, which I didn’t I make more than $30,000 with just my FT job. So I’m out of options. I also looked into getting it from Canada which is when I was told they no longer do this anymore. At this point I’m very angry and frustrated with the system. Why should I just sit down and take the excuse that they need to charge me this ridiculous amount to make affordable health care for individuals for those that don’t work and do what I do. My employer knows my situation and anyone who knows this disease knows that we can’t live without this medication, it’s not like a painkiller that if I can’t afford it I can just do without. This is necessary to sustain life! Which makes it impossible to not pay what they’re asking for. So my employers solution was to have me talk with a health coach…. yes she actually thought that would help. My response to her was unless that coach could hand me cash, it wasn’t going to help my situation. When speaking with the coach the response I received was unbelievable, she said the solution would be for me to quit my job and go onto medical assistance. This isn’t an option for me, on top of the insulin my pump supplies are outrageous as well. I spend over $900 a month on diabetes supplies and Rx. That’s more than one paycheck!

    Please anyone that has any suggestions I’d greatly appreciate them. I can barely afford the cost of living because of a disease none of us choose to have.

  186. i am afraid, s already expressed, my wife is in dire straits, well we are as a family. Her lantus is now $300.00 a vial. They made a mistake in her insurance policy so all meds fall under our $7,000.00 deductible. All the coupons, and talking to the manufacturer who offers supposed help, arent. They say she doesnt qualify for any assistance because she is getting disability 9s whooing $200.00. Thus we are unable to pay for it without family assistance. It is ridiculous that some program isnt in involved to assist ones such as ourselves…Whe recently bought a vial, thanks as i said, to family assistance) it was $288.00 a vial. Even Levemire which she is also able to take, is just as high. it has such a program. Makes us wonder if because of our age (hers 61) if we are just not that important in their eyes…
    We will continue to look. I also read that buying it from Canada which would be substantially cheaper, is not an option becaue of the need of keeping it cold. It is very discouraging to know that the drug companies are so greedy that they ignore the needs of the average person.

  187. Insulin is expensive and the insurance ( UNITED HEALTHCARE ) doesn’t pay a penny on my prescription, so they are on their way out during the new sign-up. I have to buy Relion Novilin 70/30 and it works better than the Lantus I was taking that was priced at $420 for five pens.

  188. Reading this, I just can say it is too expensive and bad.

  189. I honestly hope that people with chronic diseases that end up careless and dying … start to murder politicians and big pharma CEOs and their families. Now, dont get me wrong. Im not ENCOURAGING .. or INCITING .. or THREATENING. I just think that the only way the poor and dying are going to be able to force a change is through violence. Nothing else is going to work. It would only take one or two nasty , brutal , vicious attacks wiping out a family of CEOs for big pharma or politicians to bring enough national media attention to the subject to force a change. Fked up that the world we live in is like that – but it is.

  190. 15 years ago I could get my monthly supply of three vials of Humalog for $30 at any pharmacy. My health was good.

    Just this past month I learned that now I must pay over $200 per vial. This simply means I don’t get the medicine I need to avoid expensive hospitalizing complications and extreme discomfort. My health is now declining due directly to this.

    I went through this last year when prices increased 300%; at least to the end user; given that most insurance companies, when hit with these price increases, simply pass a higher percentage of cost down to the user and adjust their copays and deductible definitions to benefit their bottom line and screw the patient. It caused me to have to reuse syringes upwards of 12 times a piece. They start to hurt a little, but you get used to it. All the pharmaceutical companies offer help, but only if you “don’t have insurance”. Each year I have to hope to win a $7,500 lottery in the first month of my insurance coverage so that I can instantly meet my deductible and have medicine for the next year. Fingers crossed for this year!! 🙂

    I’ll never understand why the pharmaceutical company is the one market that doesn’t rely on consumer affordability to maintain itself. If no one can afford bread, bread prices eventually drop. Why isn’t this happening with Insulin?

    I’m seriously considering dog insulin (Vetsulin: at $50 per vial). Many think I’m joking but I’d rather be slightly uncomfortable than comatose or dead.

  191. It’s not your age. They value us all equally poorly. And why is it I can order steaks and seafood from California that’ll arrive frozen and cold from over 3,000 miles away, yet I can’t get 52° insulin from Canada?

    I’m so sorry to hear your plight. Is there a way that all of us could get together and start a GoFundMe account that could somehow be dispersed among those of us who literally cannot afford our medication? We’ve all learned that Pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and the Federal Government don’t care about us. We might need to start helping each other.

  192. As will I. keep us all posted on that!

  193. Thirty years ago I’d tell people I was diabetic and they would say, “Oh no!! That must be tough!! My grandmother was diabetic!!”

    Nowadays I tell them I’m diabetic and they say, “You shouldn’t drink sugar sodas. You shouldn’t eat fast food. You need to be healthier.”

    I’ve learned to specify to them that I’m type 1. Sadly, they often come back with the same responses. People will learn JUST enough to feel like a know-it-all and then they shut down their receptive brains and stop caring.

    You’re right. Until there is a public face to let people know the exact truth of the matter, we’re relegated to being homeless or dead. Or both.

  194. Exactly. Companies like Omaha Steaks and Schwann’s can ship frozen meat and seafood 3,000 miles across the USA but no one can effectively ship insulin at 52°?

  195. Sorry dear. I didn’t realize the sale of insulin was prohibited. I really wished to help you

  196. James, Thank you for your comment. We would NEVER condone the use of dog insulin for humans. But your comment is a shocking example of just how dire the situation has become for diabetics who can’t afford their needed insulin. Lives are clearly at risk. Something has got to change!

    Have you checked with the drug manufacturer about programs to help? You might check with the Partnership for Prescription Assistance: or NeedyMeds:

  197. It is surely an incredibly frustrating and dire situation. But violence is NOT the answer. We’re trying to mobilize consumers to take actions on these issues. We’d appreciate your help on this. Visit our take action page for more info:

  198. My Lantus has raised to the point I can’t afford. What am I to do?? Drug discount cards can’t be used by Medicare people. Please help, I am in dire position

  199. I am on disability and receive medicare. I have been a type 1 diabetic for 32 years. When humalog first came out my MD gave me several vials to try and my A1C and low blood sugar incidents greatly improved. Then I became very sick because I injured my foot and had an internal infection which resulted in 5 surgeries over a ten year period, the last resulting in a BTK amputation. At one point I had no insurance and had to switch back to the Reli-on N and R because of not being able to afford anything else. Now I am back to having dramatic highs and lows daily. I am testing 8 to 10 times a day to try to get my A1C back under control but it is very frustrating usin the R because even though it’s considered fast acting I still get huge spikes after meals then when the N kicks in I hit rock bottom. I tried one of the flex pens with 70/30 but I was allergic to the asparte that was one of the ingredients and it was as if I didn’t take insulin when I was on it. When I replaced the R with humalog I knew I unit would bring my blood sugar down 10 points so I could accurately adjust at meal time insulin to bring it into a normal range in 15 minutes. Now I have a managed care plan through medicare and Humalog is a class IV drug and is not covered If there is a class action suit I will gladly join twice this week my blood sugar was so low my daughter has had to call the paramedics and I’m not talking marginally low but in a mere moment I was at 18 and in dire straits. Regular insulin is a deadly cocktail but I have no choice for any other fast acting insulin! Any suggestions would be welcome as I am on a fixed income and am scared of the Regular insulin.

  200. I have bought insulin from a Cambodian national, out of Canada. It was much better than the insulin I bought here. My BG’s stabilized quickly with N and R, which I started taking after getting sick from the newer insulins, to the point I gained 15 lbs and had non-stop infections. It ended up being 29$ per bottle. They mail it inside a medical ice bag, it lasted w/o problems for the few days it took to arrive.

  201. Pingback: Americans go to extremes to access life-saving medicine - RxRights

  202. What I don’t understand is why you cannot detect a low just by the way you feel. Every type 1 I know has that ability. I use Humalog and N. Before Humalog I used N and R. No matter what type I use, I can detect a low and take glucose tabs or some other type carb like orange juice or candy. Something else going on with you. Hope you find help.

  203. You can use the discounts if you ask pharmacist not to file Rx with Medicare Insurance and pay cash. Worked for me.

  204. It appears you live in a Republican state that will not expand Medicaid that covers low income people. Suggest you move to a Democrat controlled state to get Medicaid and low cost medications. A must do when your life depends on getting insulin, etc.

  205. Nothing due to new health care law. Medicare cannot change your provider, only you can request a change.

  206. My husband (84 yrs old) is in same boat re levemir

  207. Yesterday my huband given price of $525.oo for a two weeks supply of Levemir. He has a few days on current supply, but we do not know where to turn or what to do.

  208. I know it’s none of business. But try checking out book by dr. Berstein about diabetes management. I’ve been on this diet for the past 2 months. It’s not easy it’s very low carb, type 1 30 carbs daily, type 2 40. It’s decreases insulin intake greatly which leads to savings as well. It’s tough I’m still at 37 carbs daily as type 1, but it could be benficial financially and life saving.

  209. Generally as a newly diagnosed diabetic most patients can easily feel low blood sugars as you suggest. Over time, especially with frequent low blood sugar levels, it is common to lose the ability to sense autonomic/sympathetic signs (such as sweating, shaking, dizziness). This is definitely a big problem (because you are unaware of low blood sugars until they are really bad), but is not an unusual one with someone who has had diabetes a long time or has struggled with controlling low blood sugars.

  210. It is Obama care. Our insurance changed right after It was implanted and my insulin went from $75 every three month to $900. A year later it was $1000 every three months now it is $700 a month.

    It is not only happening with insulin it is happening with my sugar checkers as well. I use to not be charged for my sugar checker strips every three months and now the prices are similar to insulin.

  211. Pingback: It’s time to tell pharma to stop jacking up insulin prices - RxRights

  212. Right after Obommer care went into effect, medication that had been paid for 5 years running was no longer paid for. Now they want me to pay over $600 a month. Further, when I found a substitute that works, an herb, the doctors really give me a bad time and tell me it is not FDA approved, and that I am a bad patient. Medical Mafia and Obummer care. Crooks, euthanasiaists, killers, crooks.

  213. I am having a serious problem trying to obtain afforable medication to treat type 1, insulin dependent diabetes, and there must be a different way to help people like me. Type 1 diabetics need daily insulin to survive and it becomes a life or death issue
    for people who cannot afford Cobra insurance, or insurance from the state exchange,
    and do not qualify for Medicaid.

    I have been unemployed in NY since April and receiving unemployment
    payments…….barely getting by on. It doesn’t cover much once you start
    deducting living expenses (rent, utilities)

    I could not afford the high cost of Cobra and the state health exchange is a
    joke. Between plan costs and then co-pays for all my prescriptions, the cost
    ends up being the same as Cobra.

    To be given a choice of paying for health insurance so I can get medication I
    need to survive, and not paying for rent and utilities, so I end up getting
    evicted is so absurd to me.

    My last resort is to try to get help from the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the insulin and applying for their patient assistant programs. IRONIC that it’s because of their pricing and hold over the FDA that I cannot get this mnedication somewhere else. I’m disgusted that there are no other options and
    the government doesn’t seem to care.

    The fact that people who NEED this insulin to survive and cannot afford it is
    insane. The cost of Lantus and Humalog pens are in the range of $375 to $450 EACH, never mind the rest of the diabetic supplies I need to take care of myself.

    Americans need access to affordable medications and if we can’t get them here we should be able get them cheaper somewhere else.

  214. How long have you had diabetes? I’ve had it for 30 years and the symptoms have changed. My low sugar attacks come on much more quickly and aggressively than they did 5 years ago.

  215. PPARX is kind of a joke because I’m gonna say the majority of people make too much money to be on it. That goes for the pharmaceutical companies too.

  216. This is our most-read blog post, by far, and there are so many compelling comments here! Because insulin prices affect so many Americans, we decided to initiate an action to pressure the makers of insulin. Follow this link to take action:

  217. Send an email to the company sometimes they will help u themselves.

  218. Drug Co’s will NOT help if you are on medicare part D I’m in the ‘ donut hole ‘ Now must pay $ 850. for my next 2 insulin RX’s I can not afford that ! Hard won pension was slashed !! No way out

  219. By the time many feel they are low Its late in the game.. and scary people are NOT alike

  220. single payer /Medicare for all

  221. Try Canada RX’s many do ship Insulin or its equivalent

  222. My next refill for Novolin N & Novolog is up to $ 850.00 Medicare Part D ( donut hole ) United health care largest health care CO GW Bush refused to make RX Co’s negotiate on drug prices ! Powerful greedy Corps , lobbyists, Wall ST CEO’s control the USA

  223. I went to get my Lantus refilled today and the price quoted to me was doubled from the last refill. From $38 to $76. I don’t HAVE $76. The price is doubled. I’m on Social Security and I don’t know what I’m going to do because I don’t have enough money left each month to pay for Lantus at that price. I guess I’ll just lie down and die. Goodbye.

  224. I just bought a bottle of Humalog yesterday for $248.92. This is the same price for Humalog in our area, which covers both Tioga County, PA, Steuben County, NY & Chemung County NY. I need a bottle a week of this insulin. I also need Lantus insulin, which is of a similar price. Have been a juvenile diabetic for over 35 years, and only now cannot afford it. No one seems to care or have a solution.

  225. I find it incredible that I paid $20 with out insurance for pig insulin that worked pretty good in 1976. Insulin could be generic if they used something 5 years old but Big Pharma tweaks the makeup of the drug ever couple of years!

    Forget changing things in this country, it is sick with greed. I plan to move out of the country by 2017 where insulin is cheap.

  226. I had been hospitalized with DKA, due to changes in treating my T1 Diabetes. When I left the hospital I was prescribed Novolog. When I went to pick it up I was told it was over $250.00 my insurance did not cover. This is totally ridiculous! It is not like it is something I wanted out of the blue. The pharmacy did find that Humalog was covered and called the hospital and had RX changed. The cost was $35 for the RX.
    What angers me the most is the fact that I did nothing wrong as Juvenile T1 is now considered an auto-immune disease, not a disease that I inherited as was the belief 53 and 1/2 years ago when I was diagnosed.
    We are being held hostage by Insurance and Drug Manufacturing Companies.

  227. According to Medicare’s monthly chart reports, a 30-day supply of Lantus went from $68 in 2011 to $694 in 2015! This is insane and has to be due to price gouging. I sent the charts to my Congressman.

  228. I am a type 1. I have found that it is entirely possible to get good control with N and R. The main keys to this are:

    (1) Eat a moderately low carb diet of 30-45 g carb per meal. Less is OK if you can stand it. Be sure to eat a good helping of protein and fats.

    (2) Take your insulin 30 min before your meal.

    (3) Use a small amount of N at breakfast, lunch, and dinner- about 1/4 to 1/3 of total dose for me to provide a regular basal coverage.

    (4) Take a bedtime dose that is flipped- about 2/3 to 3/4 N and 1/3 to 1/4 R to last through the night. Try to sleep no longer than 6 hours at a stretch. You may well need insulin at that point due to dawn phenomenon.

    I have had hypos, but not like people have on a 2 shot per day regimen. They have generally been less severe than with the analogues. I passed out behind the wheel 2.5 years ago with Novolog and Lantus.

    Big Pharma should hang its head in shame for what they are doing to T1’s.

  229. As people have lows, they become more and morr unable to recognoze them since their bodies are more used to the horomonal changes. When you get low, get glucose, but just as importantly get real food. Then let your sugars slide up a little for a few days after.

  230. Just get together with someone that lives near the canadian border and have them cross the border purchase the insulin and ship it to you. Humalog is approx 35 to 40. a vial and pens about the same. Lantus is about 75 to 80 for either. With shipping you still get by with a big savings. I drive up from Indiana and get mine cheaper than the deductible. No prescription needed in Canada as it is only useful to people that need it. That is what you get when the Govt negotiates with the drug company.

  231. Bob, Though it may not be required in Canada, we would want to ensure that anyone obtaining medicine this way has a prescription and is working closely with a U.S. doctor to monitor their health.

  232. If no income or even with income everyone by law now can obtain insurance, no matter what their medical history. Low income = higher subsidy for insurance. Go to and search for insurance that includes prescriptions. My wife had an outstanding policy in 2014 when she needed coverage. Signing up is easy and they can do it over the phone. Everyone is eligible! In many states run by Democrat governors and few Republican led states you can get Medicaid with low income. I did get some of my insulin from Canada when I did not have coverage and I know it is still possible by mail, but few Canada pharmacies will sell to the U.S. now.

  233. In small part you are correct. The ACA (aka ‘Obamacare’ limits profits of the insurance companies and forced them to begin closing the Medicare gap in Part D coverage. The increase in Rx costs enables the companies to maintain their profits, which were already excessive. The ACA does not put controls on prescription drug prices and USA consumers are being deprived of reasonably priced drugs. Most countries control drug prices because they provide government controlled ‘medicare’ like programs. Insulin you will find is manufactured outside the U.S. and then imported. In each country sold under different name, but much higher price in U.S.

  234. That is what Democrat Congressman Alan Grayson had said Republicans believe during the debate over the ACA. “Just Die!”

  235. The ACA did not remove ‘billions’ from Medicare. 750 million was eliminated for Medicare Advantage Plans that only added profits to insurance companies with insignificant benefit to consumers. Yes, because the ACA limits profits and thus premiums by insurance companies and reduces the gap in Part D they are increasing Rx prices to force Medicare Part D consumers to pay more thus maintaining their profits from the end of their business.

  236. I’ve finally said F!&# the US, the FDA, congress, and major pharma. I’ve actually moved to Canada and given up my US citizenship mainly because of healthcare. In the US I use to be denied insurance because I was diabetic, and was forced to pay 180.00/vial for Humalog and 210.00/vial for Lantus. After the ACA passed that cost went down to 50.00/vial plus 220.00/MO for my insurance premium. All was good until BCBS of NC just stopped covering Humalog. WTF!?! Anyway in Canada insulin doesn’t require a prescription, Humalog is 35.00 and Lantus is 75.00. When you compare those facts it’s obvious the US government doesn’t give a flying F#! $ about the people, only about the CEO’S of major companies that so called “elected” officials get kickbacks from.

  237. Let’s band together with a gigantic national petition to the pharmaceuticals and congress demanding national bidding for the lowest price. Less expensive medical cost in the long run.

  238. Thank you so much for sharing about Dr.Bernstein and his books, I just ordered two different ones

  239. Wow, it’s not just us, my 9 year old daughter was diagnosed 5 years ago with T1, we spent 4 days in the Pediatric Intensive Care unit when she was out of the blue diagnosed, for the first year my insurance covered all her diabetic cost of which she takes Lantus and Humalog, I am a coalminer and have phenomenal insurance by the way, last year when great Obama care(of which we aren’t on) it went up to $96 from nothing, then after we complained it went down to $38, they told us to use novolog because insurance paid %100 of it but when we tried it made her sick and we couldn’t balance her numbers, so after dealing with the $38 dollars for almost a year we were hit with $121 for a new refill, I make a decent salary but I have a lot of bills and don’t think I should have to work overtime to pay my little girls medical costs, I will no questions asked but I don’t think I should have to, something has to change before I lose everything I have to keep my little girl healthy, if we don’t stand together we will surely fall apart, they say use a generic, how can you administrate an insurance plan and not know that there is not a generic, she needs Humalog to live, it’s like charging you for air to breath…

  240. I feel your all of your pain. My insulin use to be $75 for a three months for 9 vials of Humalog. Now it cost me $255 for one bottle. My blood strips were free and now they cost the same amount as the insulin. I found out if we didn’t work my medicine would be free. However, who would pay my other bills such as much mortgage and car insurance if my husband and I gave up our jobs. Now the question is how am I going to being able take care of my health so I can keep my job and how long will I be able to live this way.. That is a sad that I have to think this way now. People who didn’t have insurance before was at least able to buy their medicines at an affordable rate because medicine cost a lot less before the government got involved with Obama Care. I always had insurance held a job and now we can’t afford my medicines. 🙁 How can the government afford all this and when they stop printing money everyone is going to have a problem with taking care of their medical needs.

  241. Most folks on SSD and medicare cannot afford the new insurance. They cant pay rent, copays, medical care and for food on $1400/month. They quoted about about $400/mth to my boyfriend plus he still would have copays. The govt is busilly trying to kill those who are the least healthy. Survival of the fittest to the point of a growing move toward assisted suicide. USA has gone to hell!!!

  242. I feel your pain! My boyfriend is in the same boat and the boat is full. Obamacare is a joke!!!!

  243. Amen!!!!!!

  244. What is really scary is thst if you are unable to care for her, because of lack of money, the govt will try to to take her from you. I actually saw this happen witha couple in Alaska, only the govt took the husband away, accusing the wife of not providing the right amount of insulin. They put the husband in the hospital and wouldn’t let the wife in. The hospital couldn’t get his hlood sugar undef control either. She had to pay for lawyers and the husband wAs so upset.The govt wouldn’t listen to him, even though there was nothing wrong with his mind. They were eventually sent to diabetes training but a damn social worker sat between them. Insane!!!!

  245. A.K.Van Meter I am a T1 diabetic for over 38 years. Insulin was $20 a vial without insurance now Insulin is over three hundred a vial I know prices are uo but that’s ridiculous . I now need 5vials for 90 days. Having to pay for 6 instead of five because can only get one month at a time. With my wife’s insurance its going th o be about $300 every 90 days. I thank GOD for insurance, but, from $20 to over $300. ?!?!?!?! Someone, somehow has got to regulate how much we have to pay to stay alive. Oh! I forgot to mention. I was laid off because of medical conditions a few months ago. What now. Someone in the government needs to step in and regulate the RX companies price on how much we have to pay to stay alive , or die trying.

  246. Why? If it is not required in Canada, and people aren’t dropping dead, maybe it is something the US should look at. It is kind of BS that we have to have a prescription for everything here, so everybody can price gouge. If you need a prescription that means you have to pay for a doctor first on top of the over priced meds. Sounds like Canada gets it!

  247. I am on Januvia in addition to insulin, both r and n, and if it weren’t for my physician’s office giving me samples, I wouldn’t even be able to have the meds that work best for me.

  248. I am so sick of companies that increase life saving medications. LIFE SAVING. Insulin was created for the use of humans to overcome Diabetes….Now we cannot afford to live need help

  249. The price of Lantus is indeed insane and no doubt the result of Big Pharma greed
    I need Lantus not for me but for my CAT. I order from Canada and a lower price than the nearly $400.00 per vial and a vial for the Cat lasts nearly 5 months so its not that big a deal for me, but it is a big deal for those human beings that are being Gouged Sanofi and the others. YES SANOFI -the name needs to be a household word,Perhaps the media needs be involved aand so do our legislators. The DOD also. Top execs have been imprisoned for activity such as what SANOFI is doing. Maybe a concerted effort toward Indictments of SANOFI execs may get some changes made..

  250. My Lantus Solostar (10 Vial per Month ) went to over $ 700 per month when I’m in the “Doughnut Hole”. Even though the Doughnut Hole is getting Smaller with the ever increasing prices it make no difference. I’m so disgusted with the American Health (Sick) Care System I wish I had a transferable Voucher I could use anywhere in the World and leave this corrupt and morally bankrupt American System behind.

  251. The drug companies need to be held accountable, not blaming Obamacare.
    Prevention and fightng disease is much cheaper over the long term than late term treatment, why cant people get this ?
    Also it was a major mistake when Bush expanded the drug program that prices could not be Negotiated, that was nothing but a giveaway to the drug companies.

  252. Did you ask for a waiver to keep using the first drug ? You state you ” shouldnt have to work OT to pay for her care ”
    But you made her and its your Responsibility responsibility

  253. The ACA has nothing to do with the pricing of drugs. Earlier laws, especially the one creating Medicare Part D, but previous ones as well that prevent negotiation of drug prices by federal agencies the way it is done in other countries, plus the plain, simple greed of the drug companies are responsible.

    The drug companies wrote the Medicare Part D law. Those of us lucky enough to have other insurance are somewhat insulated from the gouging as individuals, but we pay in the long run. My wife’s insurance, one of the best plans there is thanks to her having worked for an excellent organization, The University of Texas, will no longer allow her to use Novolog, which she used successfully for years, because of the price increase. So, she changed to Humalog, and the price for that is now jumping. We don’t know what will happen there. She also has to take Lantus, and it’s price has doubled, though thankfully not for us individually.

    She has to carry a glucogon kit, which is made by Lilly, in case of catastrophic low blood sugar. Three years ago it was priced below our copay (which is $35), and we paid $13.70 a year for the two kits her doctor insisted she carry in case of need. Now the price is $380 for one (we pay the copay of $35) and the insurance company will only pay for one kit per year. Ok, $35 is not much to save her life, but by increasing the price 28x in 3 years, many people simply cannot carry a kit because their insurance is inadequate or they cannot pay for insurance, and the price of insurance will inevitably go up to cover such costs.

  254. Oh, wow. Google sent me to this article because will I travel to the Americas next year and I wanted to make sure that I will get my prescription drugs there. I am a German with diabetes type 1 and I am using lispro (brand names here in Germany: Humalog from Lilly Germany, Liprolog).
    The price in a certified online-pharmacy is around 127 Euro ($144) for 10 kwikpens (3000 units). They last for 60 days, so my health insurance company has to pay around $70 for my insulin per month. (Or at least that is what I would have to pay without an insurance.)
    Did I get this right – in the US, I would have to pay $500 per month – for the same drug, from the same producer? O_o
    It seems like I will have to bring it with me.
    Germany is not a 3rd world country. Prices for meds are usually higher than in the rest of the European Union. If the companies sell lispro for $14 per 3ml (300 units) here, they still make a really nice profit.
    The US prices you mention in your comments are insane. As a fellow insulin junkie, I wish you all the best of luck with finding a way to deal with this situation

  255. I used to pay $30 co pay for 30 days of Humalog/Novolog, I am now paying 390 Dollars for 90 days. ($130 per month) for the same. Lantus, the same price jump. Nearly 400 Dollars for 90 days up from the same $40 co pay. and that IS with Insurance. What the insurance companies are paying is insane. Nearly $5000 for 90 days of Humalog and Lantus combined. WTF? We are being ripped off here in the states and something MUST change. This is gouging pure and simple and they are NOT making generics of the medications that HAVE gone off patent protection because they dont have to, to keep the revenue stream pumping and bleeding us dry.

  256. Blue Cross has jumped to 50.00 a month that means my insurance is 550.00 a month and insulin cost me 80.00 dollars a quarter double that to 160.00 for two different types and add another third Tanzeum another 105.00 a quarter. Obama made deals with big pharma and health insurance companies which made out like the bandits they are while those with once good insurance like FED Blue is hiked up. From those on the ACA it is worse. The United States is the worse when it comes to insulin. Other countries provide available insulin without the jacked up prices.

  257. Remove your part D and Medicare at a pharmacy then they can accept discounts. You do not have to use Medicare and/or Part D. I often had said when I was using Part D charge me a cash sale not through Part D.

  258. Gary, have you had any luck? Here are some ideas from Consumer Reports: We’ve initiated an action to put pressure on insulin producers.

  259. Ugh! We’re on “Obamacare” through Blue Cross this year. The pharmacists at CVS all cringe when we pick up our son’s insulin. They claim they have never seen it cost so much! They all ask if we have shopped for a better insurance plan. It’s all the same: pay high premiums for lower cost meds, or pay lower premiums and then pay for high med costs. It’s a wash, and we’re all being taken to the cleaners! Thank Obama…

  260. Just have to comment. My dog has been a diabetic for about 6 years. He is on human insulin. When I first started purchasing it was approx. $50/vial. It cost me $135/vial today. Same pharmacy I have always used. The excessive increase makes no sense to me. Too bad my dog is not covered under my plan.

  261. Carol, I hope you see my reply. A guy that I know was also in your situation. I went online to drug manufacturers web site and they had a coupon he applied for so that he only has to pay $20/month. I think there are disqualification if you are on Medicare or any other government funded insurance. Hope this helps.

  262. Of course it’s due to Obama Care. The drug companies all started raising prices when Medicare limited Part B pricing for insulin used in pumps. Part D prices were not limited or fixed. Pharmacies wouldn’t sell insulin under Part B because they lost money on it. This is Congress trying to get someone else to pay a hidden tax. Then in Part D there is the doughnut hole. When someone is in the doughnut hole, the drug companies have to eat 45% of the cost of the med.

    So all the drug companies started raising prices to cover their increased expenses because Congress didn’t want to pay the normal costs. Congress knew the drug companies were simply going to pass along the lost margin by increasing prices. Again a hidden tax.

    When Obama Care came along the drug companies knew they were going to be forced into more concessions so once again they raised prices.

    The Obama administration has done a hugely successful job of getting the most people historically there has ever been on Medicaid and Medicare.

    With both Obama Care and the huge increase in Medicare and Medicaid, someone has to pay for all the subsidized meds going out the door. So we’re paying for it. My wife’s Obama Care is hugely expensive. We have to pay nearly $11,000 out of pocket before she ever sees an insurance contribution to a medical bill. Her scripts are now bought on cash prices. So we’re getting hit on both Medicare and Obama Care.

    If you don’t think we’re subsidizing the Obama give aways think again. We’re all paying more so others don’t have to pay anything. It’s hidden tax plain and simple. And it’s going to get a whole lot worse.

  263. I have been a Type 1 diabetic for 35 years, and I have a solution to all of this. Walmart quietly sells their brand of Test strips (Reli On) for $9 for 50 test strips and what they read is consistent compared with One Touch, though they read about 10% consistently higher than One Touch, which is not a big deal. As for insulin, I quit using Lantus when I learned how much the insurance company was paying for it ($250+ for one vial) — screw the insurance company and the maker of Lantus, I’m not supporting their white collar criminal behavior. Walmart again has a solution — I went back to using Novolin N for $25 per vial (take an injection 2x a day, instead of 1x a day with Lantus). And I think I will quit using Humalog/Novolog too ($258 per vial), and go back to using Novolin R for $25 per vial (take 1 hour before a meal instead of 15 minutes before a meal with Humalog/Novolog.

  264. And…you don’t even need a prescription!! for Reli On test strips, or for Novolin N or Novolin R insulins. Just walk up to the Walmart counter and buy them. The TOTAL COST for a vial of Novolin N (intermediate acting insulin), and Novolin R (not as fast as Humalog/Novolog – but it works!) is $25 per vial. I have bought these insulins at Walmarts WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION in various states – Texas, California, Colorado. Thank you God for Walmart, who for Type 1 diabetics like myself has quietly done an end-run on insurance companies, drug companies, and even your family practice doctor – low cost diabetic supplies (test strips) and insulin (old fashioned R and N insulins) without even needing a prescription.

  265. I was put on Levemir and Novolog for the first time 6 weeks ago. I am in sticker shock. I am on Medicare, pay for a supplemental health policy and a prescription policy and am still looking at $2000 every 3 months. Are they crazy! That would be almost 2 of my SS checks out of 3 every every 3 months. Against my Dr orders, I am going to generic walmart replacement at least for Levemir. It is outrageous and while our government is passing laws to tell me I can’t get a 24 oz coke at McDonalds, lets pass a bill to help people with their diabetic medication by putting some limits on the drug companies.Oh and by the way, before I hear the argument that if I brought this on myself by eating..I am not obese.Everyone on my maternal side has type 2…my son got it at 25 when he was underweight… I have managed my diabetes for 16 years with oral medication before having to go to insulin. Come on…if I were a drug addict, I could get free needles and methadone. If i was promiscuous I could get free condoms. If I were a man I could get cheap viagra. What is our world coming to!!

  266. I have used insulin, R & N, for more than 43 years. For course, they do not call it R & N
    anymore, it has to be addressed as Humalog (R) and Novolin N. I remember paying as little as $7.00 a vial
    from the Kmart Pharmacies in 1993-4, no need of insurance, then! I began working for Caterpillar Inc at that
    time and did not worry too much about my prescription cost, Caterpillar covered
    pretty much everything. But that began
    to change thru the mid to late 1990’s, the exploding medical and pharmaceutical
    costs’ forced Caterpillar to make many annual changes to our coverage expenses,
    eventually Caterpillar became “self-insured”.
    At one time, I remember seeing a breakdown of our hourly cost per hour
    for Caterpillar and very nearly ¼ of our hourly wage (to Caterpillar) was for
    our medical benefits! (and this was in 1998!).
    So, what I am getting at here, is these sky-high drug prices are costing
    all of us US citizens in more ways than just at the counter; they are costing
    us jobs as well.

    I retired, briefly, and moved to Brazil, Caterpillar has a
    couple of large manufacturing plants there and my former manager had helped
    secure me with a job working at the Caterpillar plant in Piracicaba, Brazil
    about an hour out of Sao Paulo. For the
    next 9 years I was covered by Cat Brazil Medical. I returned back to Florida about a year and a
    half ago to this disastrous insurance rip-off most all US citizens are
    enduring. In Brazil, the cost of my
    insulin, both the R and the N, was about $15.00 per vial and Cat Brazil paid
    80% of that! My occupation with Cat
    involved me with extensive travel throughout all of South and Central Americas
    and quite often I was required to buy insulin in other countries and it was
    even less expensive in those other countries than in Brazil!! Why does it cost 10 to 12 times more here
    locally in the US??? I do not blame
    Obama or George Bush for their political policies, I put the blame on our
    congressmen and women for allowing this to happen, they are supposed to be our Representatives
    in our government processes.

    I am going in for cataract surgery next week and I just saw
    my bill for the eye drops that I will be required to use before and after the
    surgery, one was free, given to me by my eye doctor, but the other 2, one costs
    my insurance $367.00 and the other (which my insurance will not pay) cost
    $265.00! These are eye drops!!! By the way, have you noticed on your insulin box where it is now being made?? Denmark!

  267. Pingback: Update on Insulin Action - RxRights

  268. Every year I call into the ‘D’ donut hole earlier as my Novalog prices rise. I use one vial per week in my insulin pump to control my Type 1 diabetes. Currently I am out of pocket $103 each week for my insulin and it is going up again in December. I have not filled prescriptions for my heart meds since I fell in the hole in June to help cover the insulin costs. Without the insulin I would find myself in intensive care in 12-24 hours with DKA. On a very limited and fixed disability income what else can I do but pray I can get through until some generic is available.

  269. I have always had health insurance thru a private provider. My insurance now costs 8,000.00 a year with a 30% deductible until I reach 12,000. They refuse to cover any cost for Humolog insulin since it is a hormone.Up until the end of last year I have been buying it from a Canadian Company Blue Sky Drugs for 50.00 a vial. Our Government starting seizing the shipments and they stopped selling to The US customers. The best price i have found here in Florida for Humolog is 140.00 per vial. Recently my DR also added a long lasting insulin for me to try and it is Toujeo. I can get it for 15.00 per pen for the first year thru the Manufacturers discount program. If I cant find a less expensive source for these products I will either quit taking them or quit paying for insurance and take my chances abusing the system by only going to hospitals and not paying for services, so i can afford the insulin. This is all the result of Obama care and greed and corruption in our Government.

  270. I am going through the same thing, but my daughter is 25 ( diagnosed at 4 years also, Type 1) the change in insulin costs is outrageous.We have had Blue Cross for 35 years and they no longer want to support Diabetics ( I have talked with the representatives there- they deny it, but they know there is no generic humalog, they only cover generic) The increase in Diabetes is costing them too much, they lump Type 1 and Type 2 into the same category, thinking it can be controlled by life style and food choices) NOT so with Type 1. Insulin is required to live!!!! My husband and I have told our daughter that no matter what we would pay, so she never feels the need to skip taking her insulin. Which she did and became VERY sick. She was feeling that she was a burden and it was too expensive…HORRIBLE HORRIBLE way for anyone to live, thinking that ,,,Shame on the Drug companies and Shame on the insurance companies …all to make $$$ and keep the stock holder happy…these are real people with lives to live

  271. Couldn’t agree more. My very efficient and effective solution; Canada. Several years ago we could buy from many Canadian suppliers but these days a small Vancouver pharmacy called Mark’s Marine pharmacy. If I buy Humalog in New Jersey with my insurance paying half my cost is around $145 for one stinking vial. Mark’s Marine $47.99 plus 19.95 shipping. One big concern is shipping in cold let alone too hot so use cautious judgement. FYI don’t expect your insurance to help. United Health Care actually laughed at my situation. By the way generic test strips are a fraction on Amazon than any US Pharmacy and I do mean a fraction. Don’t get cheated and good luck. Also, don’t expect any help from politicians let alone this dirtbag Obama. Before his Obamacare came along I paid $35 for 4 bottles of Humalog.

  272. I totally and with deep sorrow agree whole heartedly that a diabetis cure will never see the light of day. It is probably RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE, sitting in a vault collecting dust, while pharm companies collect our money & hopes for a better future for the new age of diabetics… i just shake my head and walk away…. (type 1 for 34 yrs this sept)…

  273. I’m in the opposite boat, my husband works for Chrysler, here in mi. I have been using Humalog since it was released (with great success), but our parmacy ins (carmark), will no longer cover humalog, only Novolog.. i guess its all in the hands of the insurance people

  274. Such a sad state of affairs, all i can do is shake my head and pray to the good Lord Almighty that my 3 miracles, NEVER have to worry about how to pay to keep their mom (that would be me) supplied with my insulin…

  275. Not only a co-pay, but a ‘specialist’ co-pay.. thats $50 in my case.

  276. I also have had type 1 for 34 yrs, this Sept. I’ve been telling peeps for years that a cure will NEVER be ‘found’ . It’s hidden in a stack of memos and reports on some CEO’S desk somewhere… while they take our money (gladely)… it’s sickening!

  277. Sorry but the Big Pharma deal was done long before Obama entered office . You should direct your scorn at Congress principally GOP for giving big business via lobbyists so many favourable breaks that always hits us in the pockets. If we had a single payer non profit system like Canada and most of Europe has we wouldn’t be in this infernal for profit health system which is bankrupting us all. I purchase insulin in Brazil for one tenth of what is costs in USA. Same make, same brand. Drug companies just raising prices 1000% or more on drugs in USA just because they can is ethically incorrect, and they should be sued by the government for price gouging. Greed is not good.

  278. I have had to use more than 200 units of Insulin per day for many years. My 90 day copay was about $150. Now I have just retired and I now I am on a Humana Medicare Advantage PPO plan and my 90 day insulin copay is $915.

  279. I travel to Brazil every year for several months every year and take all my Insulin and Pump supplies from USA with me (Hand carry the insulin vials a thermal bag with Iced gel blocks inside) along with the Prescription printouts. This year I left my Medtronic pump at home by mistake after removing it to take a shower just before I left for the airport. I had packed the Fast Humalog Insulin. When got to Brazil i just went out a purchased Slow insulin Pens at $25 each, got myself a Insulin pen with some Fast Insulin cartridges and began refilling the pen cartridge with my own USA Fast Insulin and was OK taking one shot on Slow insulin as Basal in the morning then using the Fast Insulin Pen for Bolus(s) during the day. Was very surprised at the much lower cost of insulin in Brazil and that I could also walk into any drug store, (there seems to one on every corner in Rio’s Ipanema), and get insulin pens immediately.

  280. FYI: The Lantus Solostar pens cost me $25 per 300ml pen in Brazil in August 2015.

  281. Sorry to point this out, this has nothing to do with Obamacare. The fault lies with US Congress letting the Big companies get away with price gouging and putting in place Laws that prohibit the Gov to be able to negotiate pricing on drugs for Medicare Etc (BTW; All done well before Obamacare). It’s become a free for all profit Health Catastrophe ( I won’t call it a system) with little or no Government controls.The only Government controls that came in a helped the consumer was put in place by ACA (Ie: People cannot be refused Health Insurance based on existing conditions) , but clearly this was not enough.

    I am consistently surprised why people would vote in vote in to power Politicians who sell them out to the highest corporate bidder. There are politicians who will only look after our rights rather than letting the Big Corporations lobby them, take the money then watch as they gouge their constituents without any comeback.
    It’s the same scenario across Financial, Telecoms & Cable sectors,Big companies just price gouging and in the Financial sector they gambled away our money leading the 2008 crash and the Federal government ended up bailing them out and turned a blind eye in letting them get even bigger, ie: to big to fail. Big business pays for and gets Total Power while us so called Middle & Lower class plebs get less & less in return for our Tax dollars, as Taxes are reduced on the 1% and Big Corporations. In fact we loose consistently, the consequence is that purchased Total Power ends up corrupting our lives totally.

  282. I have an 18 year old Pom and she has been diabetic for 4 years. I can (at least for now) buy Humalin for $28 per vial at Walmart (no prescription needed.) Of course this could change over night

  283. Thank you for that info. I will check with my local Walmart.

  284. The lack of caps on profits for prescription drugs in the United States has become a bit ridiculous. I understand making a profit and furthering business, but this is getting insane. When I can go across the border to Canada and buy a box of 5x3ml penfill/pen Novolog for less than my copay is in the US, something is wrong. I’d just like to point out that, at $103.82 per 3ml pen, you’re looking at roughly $34.61 per gram for Novolog. Palladium goes for $17.39 per gram currently. 18 karat gold is currently $25.88 per gram, platinum is $27.54… Novolog is $34.61.

  285. Ninty days ago five viles of humalog cost $279 after insurance and now costs $500. My pharmacy said it is $1,000 before insurance.

  286. I’m glad to see your comment about your pet on here. I have a cat that is diabetic and his insulin is ridiculous. Unfortunately he doesn’t respond to Humulin (however you spell it); we tried that first. I changed from Lantus to Levemir so it would last longer outside of the fridge and it could keep him more stable for longer, but it’s getting to be a strain on my budget. I don’t want to have to put my cat down because I can’t give him insulin. I know it’s just a cat, but I also am concerned because I am insulin resistant and I may one day cross over that diabetic line and need insulin myself. Hopefully not, since my blood sugar runs low, but you never know. I wish my cat was under my plan too. At least I can sneak and use my test strips and lancets on him when I need to. I’ll have to ask the vet if he can be changed to something cheaper, but I don’t want to risk his health. I just lost one of my cats before Thanksgiving; I don’t want to bury another too soon. Thanks for your testimonies.

  287. Where do you get your Lantus? My cat was on the same and it goes bad before he uses it all. I could justify throwing it away if it didn’t cost so much. I too paid $400 for 5 pens and they lasted about 4-5 months. I changed him to Levemir since it lasts longer out of the fridge. My email is if you could send me some info about where you get it from. Thanks.

  288. Humalog is not another name for R or N. But the good news is, if you have a Wal-Mart near you, you can buy generic R for around $25 a bottle. Not as cheap as it used to be, but better than paying full price for Humalog or Novalog.

  289. What’s “profit”? My CEO’s yacht and dacha and multimillion bonus are legitimate business expenses!

    And $34.61 per gram is way, way off. There are 35-40 MICROGRAMS of insulin in one “unit”. 300 units per pen. If my math is right, it means 0.01 g/pen, 5 pens are $300, so, $60,000 per gram?

  290. Americans get screwed over on drugs due to collusion from the the drug companies AND insurers. They look upon sick people there as a resource to fleece without limits. That little bag of crap Martin Shkreli is just one of the few who was obvious about what they’ve been doing in the US for decades.

    The pay their lobbyists to make it impossible to stop them

  291. And The FDA is also in it with Big Pharma ” A vial of Regular Insulin is selling right now December 2015 between $140 and $190 a Vial , totally ridiculous and criminal .

  292. Is that with or without insurance? I have Humana Gold Plus and my doctor just called me today and told me I need to begin taking insulin… I don’t have that kind of money…

  293. My doctor prescribed Lantus 100 for me. Does anyone have any idea how much that is going to cost per bottle? He prescribed six bottles for 30 days. I’m having some anxiety over this. Maybe if I lied and said I was a refuge I’d get it for free…

  294. I have to buy insulin for my dog and each time I go to purchase it the price just goes higher and higher. I can’t say as I have ever paid the same cost twice in the 2-3 years I have been doing this. A little goes a long way when its for a 15 pound dog but she is so worth it. I just think something very screwy is going on. How can these drug companies expect anybody human or animal to survive when they price the necessary drugs through the roof? Its very frustrating to say the least.

  295. Affordable Care Act?

    It’s not affordable, and Obama doesn’t care.

  296. When we started buying Lantus for our cat, it cost us $175. That was five years ago. It now costs over $300. That is ridiculous.

  297. Check out the cost of Levemir or Lantus..It’s criminal..

  298. Thats funny, I used to get all my insulin and meds free from big pharma because I didnt have insurance or the income to afford it, all you need to do is look them up, they will tell you how to get it. usually it has to go through a dispensary or doctors office, its not direct. after Obama care came out I was given Medicaid so now what I used to get for free, big government is paying big pharma for.

  299. No the big pharma deal was not done before obama, Big pharma was giving me all my insulin and mads FREE, now that Obama care qualified and made me get Medicaid they are getting paid for 100% of everything by obamacare

  300. Heh. Scary. I’m wasn’t taking into account what the concentration of active ingredients is, but simply looking at each pen being 3 milliliters, so right around 3 grams.

  301. You can get generic N insulin at some pharmacies such as WalMart (ReliOn brand) for about $20 per 10mL vial. In most states, they also sell generic syringes at pharmacies as well. That’s an older, out-of-patent insulin that works well for pets in many instances.

  302. Why do I pay 10x for a drug in the U.S. compared to what I’d pay for the same drug, unsubsidized, in Canada? The U.S. doesn’t have profit margin caps on those drugs, while most developed nations do. The truth is that the ACA did some good things for us diabetics, but it doesn’t stop the increasingly ridiculous profit margins of big pharma companies. And, they get away with it in the name of free market capitalism, in a market where there isn’t any competition because the product is too challenging to replicate. I used to be able to buy a box of Novolog for under $80 in the U.S., where that same box is now over $500.

  303. The personal injury lawyers may be an even larger factor. They will put together class action suits for just about every side effect there is. They have even sued because anti-coagulants can cause bleeding. Imagine that. I have seen ads for people on certain diabetes medications who have heart disease even though heart issues are a well known complication of diabetes and thus may not be traceable to any prescription drugs.

    Such lawyers are among the biggest contributors to politicians, particularly Democrat politicians.

  304. This is our most-read blog post, by far, and there are so many compelling comments here! Because insulin prices affect so many Americans, we decided to initiate an action to pressure the makers of insulin. Have you taken action yet?

  305. It’s the Republican Congress that could pass legislation and does not. Obamacare, the ACA, has nothing to do with prescription costs but that is what Republicans lie about through FOX all the time. The ACA provides access to health insurance with private insurance companies with no denial possible. Drug cost are not part of the new law and only if you remove Republicans from the Congress will anything be done. Look up Bernie Sanders position on this issue.

  306. Our pharmacy called today to tell my husband his Humalog Kwikpen will now cost $450 per month which is after the $150 Medicare Part D. My husband is retired and it looks like I will be working until they plant me in the ground. It is so disappointing.

  307. In Canada it is 71 Canadian Dollars.

  308. With or Without , It is cheaper for me to travel to Mexico and buy Insulin at $25 a vial and bring it back than one month supply of insulin in the US for a Brittle diabetic can exceed $700 a month

  309. My son is a Type 1 diabetic. We are having the same financial problems as you are. We can no longer afford Novolog. So we had to switch to Novolin R. It costs $25 dollars per vial at Walmart. You don’t need a prescription. The Novolin R is a Fast acting insulin.
    HOWEVER!! It is NOT as fast acting as Novolog or Homolog. The Novolin R is called Regular insulin. It peaks at 2 to 4 hours. And lasts up to 8 hours. (In trace amounts). If you decide to try Novolin R- Regular insulin just remember to space your meals. 4 hours apart to prevent insulin dose piggy backing. You will need less of this insulin. For example: on the Novolog my son took 1:5 units in the morning for breakfast. On the Novolin R he takes 1:9 units. One vial of Novolin R lasts him 28 days with some left in the vial. The more expensive Novolog vial lasts my son about One week. So my son goes through at least 5 vials a month easily. And you know what. He is better off with the Novolin R. Regular insulin. For my son the Novolin R Regular insulin that costs $25 dollars works better for him.
    Check with your doctor before you start with any new insulin.
    If you take Lantus for your basil insulin the manufacturer has a very good patient assist program.

  310. I think it’s pathetic that we have to pay for any type of medical care especially for a life and death situation. My son has type 1 diabetes and HAS to have his insulin in order to survive. The price of his insulin even after what the insurance covers is outrageous. This doesn’t include all the other medical supplies he needs to have. So thanks America and all the “caring” pharmaceutical companies for NOT taking care of your future generations.

  311. I’ve been a Type 1 Diabetic for over 40 years and continuously see insulin prices skyrocket. I do have to say, after doing some research, the pharmaceutical empire has and continues to ignore the original inventor of insulin who had stated that insulin was never to be sold to make a profit. We all know that has been ignored and most likely occurred after the inventor had passed. I’m stuck resorting to Novalog now as my insurance no longer covers Humalog.

  312. I just ordered my first 2016 Rx for NovoLog. Insurance paid $100, my cost is $484. This is ridiculous. The manufacturers discount took off $200 but still $284 is steep! Looking forward to 2017 (the patent expires)!!

  313. My husband was recently diagnosed with LADA he is a rare 1.5 diabetic. He takes 2 insulins(humalog & lantus) 5 times a day along with a metformin pill. Our Co pay per for his lantus is $75 and his humalog is $90. Both of those have to be refilled twice a month. We can’t afford it. I just signed up for the discount card on the lantus website and will call the medical social worker in the morning to see about an Eli lilly discount card. We are ordinary working people and it’s crazy to have to make a decision to pay your light bill or pay for the medication that is keeping you alive. My husband found out he was diabetic this past december. He was admitted into icu with a blood sugar level of over 700. We paid over $400 last month for medications and supplies and this is after the insurance covered their part. I’m scared and stressed out trying to make sure we can pay for his medication. And it’s hard because he doesn’t qualify for goverment help because he works.

  314. I am so sorry to hear that. Check the website for a discount card and I know at my husband’s medical clinic I have an appointment with the medical social workers to see what resources they can help us with. I’m complaining about $75 and yours is $450 I pray someone will help you.

  315. Being a LADA diabetic at 52 is pretty tough physically and emotionally but having to pay huge costs for insulin makes it even harder for a father of two and husband just making enough $$ to get by. This year Blue Cross of Illinois took away my coverage from 2015 and in it’s place gave me a $4000 deductible with only a 20% coverage. The premium for this plan is more expensive than 2015 as all their plans have been stripped down with the exception of the “gold” plans that start around $1000 per month.. What that means is my insulin cost went from $50 a month for one vial to $250 a month.
    I have about 2 weeks worth of Levimir left before I have to make the decision to pay $250 a month or simply die. I say this because I’d have to find a cc to load up with more debt I cannot pay so where does that leave me? Is this really healthcare in America? This pricing by big pharma and Blue Cross is utterly criminal and reckless as well as lacking in any morals. I have no other way to get my insulin other than beg my doctors for samples.
    Last year I handed over $8,400/year in premiums to the $800 million dollar profit center known as BlueCross, part of which supports the BILLION dollar pharma corps. For that amount of money the least these soulless suites could do is continue to provide me with the coverage I had.

    Two weeks and counting and I don’t know where I can get my insulin. I’m in debt, cc is maxed out and I just don’t know where to turn.

  316. We have heard of a number of desperate folks traveling to Mexico or Canada to get insulin. We would recommend talking to your doctor about this and ensuring you are under a doctor’s care if you must do this. It’s worth noting that Walmart sells vials of insulin for $25 (relion brand). It’s not the fast-acting, new and improved varieties of insulin, but it’s probably better than going without. Of course, please be sure to consult with your doctor about this too.

  317. Sorry but you are misinformed , Walmart no longer sells the Relion For $25 , it is now $140 and Relion is By Novo Starting January 1 Medicare doesnot pay for any Novo Insulin , NoVolog or Novolin

  318. Really?! We spoke to Novo Nordisk’s director of branding and reputation about Relion late last year. He’s the one who brought up Relion’s affordable price. We’ll have to get back in touch ASAP to find out what’s going on. Thanks for letting us know.

  319. Where do you live Arnolfo

  320. I just called local Walmart , just in case I read it wrong , and Relion is $125

  321. Got levemir pen 4 sale $25 atl.

  322. Because of my insulin requirements , I got into the Medicare D “donut hole” by Apr. 2015, literally MONTHS earlier than I’d expected or could plan for. I lIve on a FIXED INCOME. and the sudden TRIPLING of my monthly “donut hole cost” for my insulins – plus a significant Increase in the amt of insulin I now need as my diabetes has become increasingly volitile over the last year (requiring that I purchase THREE VIALS OF my INSULINs/ month instead of TWO) – FORCED me into some “creative dosing” of ALL of my PRESCRIBED MEDICATIONS.

    As you might have guessed, I was LITERALLY LIVING FOR JANUARY 2016 when I could finally resume some of the meds I’d had to “stretch” or give up altogether in order to accomodate my insulin cost increases (which I’d also been FORCED to “stretch” for MONTHS). ***And remember : THERE WAS NO “COLA” INCREASE IN SOCIAL SECURITY for 2016 – BUT THAT’s DISCUSSION FOR ANOTHER DAY !!!!)
    So imagine my surprise AND DISTRESS when I bought my Novolog last week !!! I had expected my Novolog price to drop from the donut -hole, OUT-OF-POCKET price of about. $100 PER VIAL back to about $40-45/vial cost.
    When my Pharmacist rang up my purchase, she said “That will. be $119 please.”
    I practically SCREAMED, “NO !!! I’m out of the donut hole !! It CAN’t be that much. !!!!
    So she called the insurance company. Turned out that the Pharmaceutical Co had not only increased their “retail price suggestions” for the 2nd time since September. but that my INSURANCE CO. had decided to change the TIER, thus requiring me to now pay a PERCENTAGE of that exorbitantly high suggested retail price rather than the flat co-pay per bottle.
    In addition, THAT co-pay percentage can be ARBITRARILY changed & INCREASED throughout the year WHENEVER THE PHARMA COMPANY CHOOSES TO DO SO !!!! And that’s not all ……
    Not only will that put me BACK INTO THE DONUT HOLE EVEN SOONER IN 2016 than in ’15, but I have NO IDEA just how high they plan to charge for the “full price” which is now pegged at $326.65 PER VIAL !!!!
    HOW the F*** am I supposed to BUY THREE BOTTLES OF INSULIN PER MONTH when my TOTAL SOCIAL SECURITY INCOME is barely above THAT ???

    And don’t even get me started on the RECOMBINANT DNA PROCESS touted years ago that would allow the companies to produce insulin BY THE VAT, thus reducing the production cost to next to nothing.
    Or Congress’ GIFT TO BIG PHARMA THAT BARGAINING by MEDICARE to reduce wholesale costs , just as the VA does now to sigificantly reduce MEDICATION costs to Vets , WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED !!!!
    Or those same companies who cry “POOR” about R&D COSTS that don’t actually exist or pale in comparison to their advertising costs & Platinum Parachute compensations for executives.

    All I know is that what they charge ME above the actuaL, miniscule production costs is nothing short of out & out thievery. I also know that my MED costs will now be far beyond what I can pay. So what am I supposed to do now … DIE.???

  323. Don’t blame the ACA FOR THIS PARTICULAR SCAM – this mess is 100% CONGRESS , & most recently under George Bush (Medicare D) and the PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY’S GREED.
    Big Pharma has been given a free rein (reign) BY LAW to do whatever they damn well please and they have followed their GREED Without restraint.
    In fact. Big Pharma is basically an entity unto itself and has little actual connection to The MEDICAL establishment orMEDICAL CARE beyond the money that flows from various MEDICAL facilities into the Pharmaceutical coffers. They are now primarily a Political entity with. their tentacles reaching into many Congressional pockets , universities , & private research facilities funded by government.

  324. You are quite correct.

  325. For a family of (4) our Insurance costs went from $1,300 per month to $2,000 per month with a $4000 deductible this year. On top of that, I just filled my sons diabetic perscription (Uses both Levmir and Novolog to control his Type 1 diabetes, life and death medication here). The Levemir Flextouch pen cost us almost $900 out of pocket, same amount was $190 last year. The pharmaceutical companies & its executives should be ashamed of themselves, & held accountable for taking advantage of people who need a drug like insulin just to survive. My son is a 19 year old active, smart, hard working young man and college student that has had to endure the many frustrations and side affects of this disease since he was 8 years old. If he were out of college right now, just starting his career, he would never be able to afford this medication on his own. We need to get our local senators, governor, and the president of the United States set drug price regulations now. I am calling my state of Minnesota representatives first thing Monday morning and I hope all of you make your voices heard loud and clear as well!

  326. My Lantus Solo star jumped from $40 to over $400. I priced insulin on line and it looks like they’re all out of control with price hikes. I can’t afford it, especially after the large hike in insurance premiums.

  327. Aleph, is this the cash price you were quoted? Or is this going through insurance? Where is the Walmart located? Our contact at Novo assures us that ReliOn at Walmart is still $25 a vial.

  328. These bastards don’t care about human life, its the almighty dollar. The world is now split between the Rich and the Poor. and the Poor will eventually die out from poverty and lack of ability to obtain the same medicines the rich need. YOU can BET the CEO’s from the insulin company’s and Pharmaceuticals companies are laughing all the way to the bank. What is happening to mankind. we need to all stand as one and stop buying for one month into their bureaucracy. Hit them where it hurts, including not going to work all on the same day.. Shut down the world for day and see what happens.

  329. I just tried to get a 1 month supply of my Humalog Kwik pen. (2 boxes 5 pens in each box) this is a 25 day supply. I haven’t met my deductible yet since the year just started, they want me to pay $931.00 for 1 month!!! Good Grief who could afford that? That’s slightly less than 50 % of my take home pay. By time I pay my rent, there would be nothing left over for anything including food! This has to stop, I don’t even know what I’m going to do.

  330. Look up diabetics pay it forward on Facebook. They might be able to help you if your cost of living is more than you can handle. Nobody should be required to pay so much of their income just to live, ridiculous.

  331. Most of the insulin manufacturers have copay assistance programs IF you have private insurance but no Medicaid, Medicare or Tri-Care. You should be able to reduce your cost to $15 to $30/month for each type of insulin through these programs. Good luck!

  332. Ask your doctor to switch you to Regular Human Insulin. You can buy a vial at Walmart (without insurance) for $24. You’ll have to go back to using syringes but the vial holds more than 3x the volume of the pen. So based on your usage, it’ll run you less than $100 per month. Yeah, I know, who would’ve thought that Walmart, those greedy bastards, would do something like this. (Sarcasm)

  333. All: while Homolog, and Lantus, etc., are “state of the art” treatments, we can get by quite well on the older just plain Human Regular (for boluses) and Human NPH (for basal) insulins. Walmart sells their brand of these insulins, without prescription and without insurance coverage, for $24 per bottle. As long as your doctor helps you with the calculations, converting to these insulins is easy and is not much more inconvenient than the state of the art treatments. I used to do the Canadian thing, and have continued to look for the lowest price options but Walmart is it. It’s funny how you have politicians like Bernie bashing Walmart, but they’re the only ones who are voluntarily doing anything about this. Also, their generic program (and Sams Club’s is a little better) also lets you buy other prescriptions (some 90 day scripts) for $10 or less. I lost my insurance last year (thanks Obamacare) and was paying less without insurance than I do now with my piece of junk Obamacare mandated plan. Go figure.

  334. I just went to Canada and bought Lantus and HUMALOG without prescription because it is not needed there. I paid $48.00 for Lantus and $24.00 for HUMALOG vials. Costco and Walmart were the cheapest in Windsor Canada. You can buy as much as you want.

  335. We switched from a traditional $30.00/mo co-pay to RX Humalog 100U last year because out insurance changed to a Health “Savings” account 1/1/2016. I about fell over when my daughter who is a type 1 diabetic was told her insulin for this month cost $700.00 at the local pharmacy. Our family deductible changed to $3000.00 (lower than some insurance co). How can a person with diabetes afford this? I plan to contact my local politicians as suggested. Big Drug company pricing is out of hand!!

  336. Just adding in: My Endo switched me to Triseba which came with a new user card. This card brought my monthly cost down to $50 for 3 pens. Being type 1, and using 25units a day, that will last me all month. It’s an options some may be able to take advantage of.

    BCBSIL was my insurance carrier. In 2016 they removed my plan and stripped out all the coverage/copay from every Bronze plan they offered (the only ones I could afford under $1000 per month). Deductibles is the new game. Pay $12,000 in premiums in a year and $4000 in deductibles before they cover. So, I have to pay BCBSIL $16,000 a year for health insurance. The Affordable Care Act was the only way I could get coverage, unfortunately it’s companies like BCBSIL that set the prices in retaliation to our medical needs.

  337. Seriously. No problems at the store or the border? How far into Windsor did you drive? I’ve got family north of Detroit, may be a good thing to know when my coupon card no longer works…

  338. Makes you want to go to single payer and allow the government to bargain with the pharma companies for volume pricing. How do you think other countries keep costs reasonable?

  339. Congress and Big Pharma (Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly) should be jailed right alongside the former execs from Enron and Worlcom

  340. Thanks!

  341. Did you have any problem bringing the Humalog into the U.S.? Also, did you tell them at the border that you were bringing it in? I am very interested in this as I would also like to do this to save money now that Medicare does not cover my insulin but, I don’t want to get into any trouble doing this. Even with prescription insurance going to Canada sounds much cheaper. Any info you can provide will be much appreciated.

  342. hi Edie, I to am diabetic (type 2). I just picked up 4 boxes (5 pens per box) of Lantus Solostar at a cost of $700. Im told there is no other place to get this. My question to you is, are you saying it is 48.00 per box or 48.00 per pen. Thanks

  343. if you think the drug co. CEO’s/execs are feing any guilt, think again.

  344. yep, same here Jane. I was just recently told, the retail cost for a 90 day supply of Lantus Solostar is $1900. I just paid $130 for my first 3 month supply which was $130. Donut hole starts at $3300, so I suspect I’ll be reasonably Ok until my 3rd & 4th 90 day supplies, where I’ll end up like 2015 paying 40% of the $1900 retail or $760 for my 3rd & 4th 90 day supplies. BTW, my Part D coverage is Silver Scripts.

  345. what patent expires ?

  346. My husband is a type 1 diabetic. Novolog costs 740.00 every month. Insurance used to pay 400.00 of that but I just lost my job to work being moved overseas. $300.00 a month was a struggle but $740 is ridiculous. I’m really not sure what to do. Insulin isn’t something you can go without.

  347. We’re so glad to hear that a nurse connected you with treatment that is less costly! But you’re right. It should never come to this–to the point where if you don’t have the money for medicine you face certain death. It’s unconscionable. We have an action open now to put pressure on drug companies. Please contact us in the future if you are having trouble.

  348. Sandy, Do you know that there’s a version of human insulin at Walmart for about $25/vial? It means using syringes and is not fast acting like newer varieties, but it’s a potential option.

  349. Pricing is certainly out of hand. Do you know that there’s a version of human insulin at Walmart for about
    $25/vial? It means using syringes and is not fast acting like newer
    varieties, but it’s a potential option if it’s a desperate situation. Have you seen our action to contact drug makers directly?

  350. My wife is a type 2 diabetic and recently has been forced to retire from her work. She has to purchase insulin every 90 days or so. we have now had to pay more than $3000.00 for a 90 day supply and had to put it on a credit card just to get it. This is so much we cant afford to even pay for what she just got. I work but my salary is just over $15 K per year and can’t keep this up. I guess she will just have to go without and see what happens. I thought the Obamacare was to help but I don’t see it.

  351. I have recently switched insurance because hmo and copay are no longer offered. I have had an insulin pump for 20 years and go through about 3 10ml vials a month. My copay wa 80 dollars for a 3 month supply…now the same 3 month supply will cost me around $ 2,700…. I am freaking out because who can financially afford that?
    The price for 5x10ml in Germany is 184 euros….this borders on extortion!!!!

  352. Wow. No wonder you are freaking out, the price difference is astronomical! Have you had the chance to check into prescription assistance programs? We have some resources on our website. Perhaps you can find some short term help in paying for the medication and reevaluate your insurance plan’s drug coverage?

  353. Very sorry to hear this. Have you looked into patient assistance programs? We have some resources on our website. There may be help out there.

  354. I had insurance through work, my Novalog was $150.00 for three months. I retired at 56 with 30 years at my job. Now my insurance is different and will not pay for Novalog, they will pay for Humalog. My part is $260.00 PER month. That is $780.00 for three months. That’s $630.00 more. I may have to just not take insulin, not sure how long I will be alive since I can’t afford insulin.

  355. Just as an example I purchase Toprol-XL for me in the US about $5.80 per pill in Canada I get it for $0.60 per pill. This drug is manufactured by AstraZeneca. I asked a friend that worked for them why so high of a cost difference. My answer is the rest of the world does not pay for the research, marketing and everything else that gets the drug to market. The rest of the world just pays the cost of manufacture the drug the USA pays everything else. This is why our drugs are so expensive in the USA. Complain to your drug manufacturer we can’t keep supplementing the worlds drug costs!!!!!!

  356. Humalog is $599.00 cash price from Walgreens. Thank goodness I have insurance. Pharmaceutical companies should be regulated to limit the amount they can charge just like they are in every other developed country in the world. Canada drugs are cheaper because the Canadian government regulates them. The companies are still making a profit, because if they weren’t they wouldn’t sell the drugs at all in Canada.

  357. If your a diaabetic things have come to a sad state of affairs. I’ve been diabetic for 35 years and it wasn’t that many many yearsago that my insuln was $45a bottle. Now it’ well over $385per bottle. IT’s time this STOPPED. Are they trying to kill us all off??This is completely insane. I have another drug that I use and the same manufacturer in the US it was $80 in the British West Indies, same drug, same strength and same quantity $1.12. Thank God for the State I live in now. They are wonderful. I would have been long death without them. If I was an illegal it would be handed to me. But no we get penalized so that we can pay for their freebies as well. STINKS. And now the insurance company wants to change from Humalog. They have tried this with me 3 times before and everytime they change it my sugar goes wacko and I said to my DR NO I will not change this time. And I have written records in my file of myreadings on Humalog and the other drug that they want me to take. Are you insane. Do you know what being a diabetic feels like. How you feel when your whole bodyis out of wack. It is ot nice. What are they going to do to us next. Seems to me like they are picking and choosing who to kill next. And what is our gov’t doing about it. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING> Why??? Beause they make to much from Big Pharma. They have no conscious. All they want MonEY MONEY and more MONEY. But some day karmais going to bite them back and I hope I’m around to see it happen

  358. this sounds like me. Humana is not very good for this drug. I was told to go to wal mart and get the bottle for about $25 and get syringes of 100 for 12.50.It will be a pain but at least it is not the 780.00 they charge. Its ridiculous that insulin has been around for so long but companies come up with an easier way to dispense but companies charge and arm and a leg.

  359. I am one of the many diabetics in this country on lantus. It has more than tripled over the years for me. It throws me immediately into the doughnut hole every year. am now being forced to look for an alternative and find there is none. the other long acting insulin is just as expensive. please somebody help us stop this ripping off of things we have to have to stay alive.

  360. I have a drug plan n pay $390.00 for 5 pack of flex pens, gonna have go bck to old insulin, I’m type 2. It is pathetic , no wonder so many ppl don’t take their diabetic meds

  361. Walmart has very low cost insulins “ReliOn”, about $25 per 10mL vial. Also very low cost glucose meter & test strips. The insulin may be available over the counter in some Walmart Pharmacies. My Doctor told me about it and wrote me a prescription for a 30 day supply just in case i needed one. Before retiring my Insulin copay costs were about $90 per 90 days My retirement medicare Humanaa advantage plan insulin copay cost are now $900 per 90 days. With Walmart insulin it will be down to about $500 max. Do not go without insulin or testing, it’ll end up cost her dearly. Good luck. Nothing to do with Obamacare, all to to do with greedy big US Pharma and Congress allowing the price gouging I’m afraid. FYI: In Brazil the same Danish made Novalog 10mL vial only costs $45 versus $450 in USA. Go figure why the 10 time price hike is allowed in USA!

  362. I’d like to make a suggestion for those that cannot afford their medicine…

    Number of People in Your Home Maximum yearly income
    1 $35,640
    2 $48,060
    3 $60,480
    4 $72,900
    5 $85,320
    They have only certain medicines. My girlfriend uses Humalog 75/25 kwikpen, and makes less than $30,000 a year and is retired. Anyway, I got her signed up and just last week had received 6 boxes of the kwikpens. And what a life saver. Like others on here, she has united healthcare and a $3000 deductible. And they expected her to pay that money up front BEFORE they would start to even pay. A lot of good Obamacare has done for her. 🙁

  363. I pay $175.00 a month for health insurance and I still have to pay over $544.00 for my flex pens and they only last me about a month and my parents are the ones who have been helping me pay for my insulin due to the fact that I cannot pay for it and I work full-time! I’m 42 and I feel like a disappointment since I can’t pay for any of it and I find it ridiculous! My insurance is a joke and having to pay that much for insulin it just isn’t right for any American to have to go through any of this whatsoever! I think we all need to stand up and fight for some kind of help with these rising costs!

  364. The greatest thing that ever happened to me was being discharged from the military with partial disability 44 years ago. I am eligible for all my insulin, both Novolog and Lantus, for a copay of $16 per month for both of them. My disability check and Social Security are so low that I would probably have died years ago if not for this help. I feel for those who are getting so little help from their insurance coverage.

  365. mormonrepublican

    It is about 32 dollars over the counter in Canada for an insulin vial and I think 85 for a box of pens. We drove over the border with what I thought was a years worth, but we are already out. I’m contemplating flying in to Richmond YVR to buy some more. Mexico also has them cheap but I’m not sure of their efficacy. We bought some but the jury was out if they were fully functional. I might try that again. A pharmacy in Canada even said I could prepay for them and then go pick them up. I’m not sure about how many I can bring through customs safely. The US has some very good lobbyists in Congress to make us pay these horrible prices for insulin. Also, the sad thing for us in the states is that in Canada you don’t need a prescription for them, hence the increase in price for us as insurance is involved. With my insurance I pay 125 a vial which is super ridiculous as you can buy it in Canada for 32 bucks a vial over the counter.

  366. I have been type 1 insulin-dependent since 1974. I began using Lilly Beef and Pork insulins and have seen every improvement to insulin therapy that has happened since that time. Never before has staying alive been so expensive. A 10ml vial of insulin costs close to $400 US today (May 2016) when it was available for less than $100 five years ago. Insulin is being sold by agents who have only greed and profit in their calculus. It is truly sad to see what the insulin manufacturers, insurance and pharmacy companies are doing to diabetics. As a type 1, diet and exercise choices help me to control my diabetes, but insulin is a life sustaining prescription. Now, I am buying the Walmart insulins because that is all that I can afford today. Fortunately, I am familiar with the adjustments required to use Novolin R and Novolin NPH after using Humalog and Lantus for the past 10 years. I have 42 years of diabetes management to draw upon. I will do ok, THANKS TO GOD! However, many will be overwhelmed because the costs of insulin have become too expensive and some will take steps that will cause horrible health consequences.

    Walmart is able to supply Novo-Nordisk produced insulins to their customers for $25 per vial. The free-market has found a way to offer “old” technology products to diabetics at very fair pricing. The end-user adjustments are necessary and trial and error will define best practices for each client. This is an alternative to anyone whose cost of living with insulin has become impossible. May the greedy agents who have targeted diabetics for this abuse find just rewards for their efforts.

  367. Please see the post above, from Keith. He knows what he’s talking about. You can get your insulin free, if you fall within the income guidelines, that he shared! Good luck!

  368. If I’m reading their criteria correctly you can only qualify if you don’t have insurance at all, which we do – we just can’t afford the copay which is currently running close to $500 a month. ***Criteria for Humalog*** “My doctor prescribed a Lilly drug available through Lilly Cares, and I have Medicare Part D OR no prescription insurance.” How did your girlfriend get approved if she has insurance?

  369. I have been insulin dependent for 35+ years and have seen insulin prices rise dramatically over the last 5 years or so years. As I now require two vials of Lantus and two vials of Humalog per month I cannot afford nearly $500/mo. in insulin. This is my first attempt to purchase insulin from Canada at a $150-200/mo. savings. Hopefully, my insulin will arrive in a chilled condition!

  370. SandyZ,
    contact patient assistance programs!!!! your dr knows about them, and you might even have ZERO copay!
    the trouble i have is humana medicare replacement! the copay assistance is denied those of us on fixed incomes. just another way of getting the shaft from pharmaceitical companies.
    no, lets argue over trannie bathroom rights instead of real problems! we need an advocate in DC that cares!

  371. the_real_andy_amos

    She fibbed. It was a white fib. Sometimes you have to fib to save your life and pay the rent.

  372. did it arrive? My father just got slapped with a bill of 1200 for 3 months and a cheaper alternative would be appreciated

  373. My complaint is this. I have boxes of Humalog 75/25 pens already paid for and now have been changed to two entirely different kinds.

  374. If you’re not going to pay for it, WHO would you designate SHOULD??? Where do you think the money comes from????? JUST WHO pays the doctors and nurses salaries???? Or, as your statement implies, DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT doctors and nurses should be ENSLAVED by the Government????? Do you have a brain?

    Government mandates and regulations (you can’t find a more regulated industry than the pharmaceutical and medical industries) DRIVE PRICES UP!!!

    ObamaDoesn’tCare was instituted to DESTROY the insurance companies. These companies fell for the trick and the carrot of the “mandate” supposedly forcing ALL, even people who don’t need insurance to purchase it anyway. But, how did that work out? Young people typically don’t need insurance, neither do the rich. So, what happened? They pay the “penalty” at tax time and save THOUSANDS for not purchasing this so-called insurance that they would not need. What do the insurance companies do now? They are FORCED to cover the pre-existing sick, but don’t have all the other enrollees to pay for this extra expense. Economics 101 Lesson here…..this caused the premiums go up, up, and UP!!! Which will ensure more and more people do not enroll in their plans, and when the insurance companies start pulling out of the ObamaDoesn’tCare pools (as is happening now)…then people like you who EXPECT something for NOTHING start screaming for the Gub’ment to FIX what they BROKE. Sheer and complete IDIOCY. Stop whining and REALIZE YOU are the problem that led to this by expecting a corrupt, incompetent government to take care of you!

  375. I have ben told that I have to pay 1675.00 for 3moths of my humolog lats more than hafe my income I’m at a lose!

  376. Shipping temperatures can be controlled when shipped to the US., most all places. Merck Sharpe and Dohme (MSD) do it routinely

  377. Drive over to Canada, Lantus is $48 a box. No Rx required. The product gets Rx status if the Drug mfg convinces the FDA that its not safe for use,(among other things) without a Dr.’s instructions. Its my understanding that the max dose on Lantus is 60 units. So how do you keep the insulin cold on the trip. Try a starofoam container with Dry Ice in the lid. Can’t expose the insulin to freezing temps.

  378. All research and development for most all drug mfgs are paid by US customers. Thus drugs sold to Mexico are based on whatever the market will bare. Manufacturing cost and distribution; wella, $50 a box for Lantus solostar. The moral of the story, make a trip to mexico. You can only bring back a 90 days supply each time you enter Mexico. The border patrol are good, but they’ll not skilled in drugs and dosing. You should be able to bring back 5 boxes each trip.

  379. The FDA has a “close” relationship with Drug Mfgs. It was originally the “Pure Food and Drug Act.” They will sympathize with the “price gouging” but can and will do NOTHING. Antitrust legislation on the manufacturers will cause them to see the LIGHT. Who can do that? Congress! But, Congress gets greased by the Drug Mfgs. So, I guess we’re all screwed!

  380. Just got the new price increase of levemuir from Walgreens. &283.19 to over $419.00 with their discount!

  381. That’s not what I am seeing.

    It applies if you don’t have insurance OR have Medicare Part D. Are you trying to say it doesn’t apply to people who have other (non medicare/non medicaid/non VA) insurances but may meet the income requirements plus have extremely high copays? I’m just trying to understand what you are saying, and to clarify so someone else in need won’t see “you only qualify if you don’t have insurance at all” and thinking that doesn’t apply to them, not look into the program for themselves. I am wondering if Keith’s lady has a Medicare Advantage Plan, and not “traditional”, non-govt insurance…

    Anyway, here’s a cut and paste…

    To qualify, you must meet ALL of the requirements listed below:
     My doctor has prescribed a Lilly drug for me.
     I am a permanent, legal resident of the United States.
     If I am a Medicare Part D patient (except Forteo patients), I have spent $1,100 on medicine this
    calendar year.
     I am NOT enrolled in or eligible for Medicaid or Veteran’s Administration Benefits.
     My doctor prescribed a Lilly drug in Group A and I have Medicare Part D OR no insurance.

    The income limits are here:

    (and I like what Keith said below. It is worth a try, especially if you are so strapped you are panicking about being able to fill your next rx.)

  382. She’s retired…Is she on a Medicare Advantage plan? (for example, AARP MedicareComplete or some similar plan, which is a United Healthcare plan, branded as AARP, and falling under the Medicare Advantage descriptions/rules/laws). I’m going to go for it. I’m in the donut hole and can’t afford my humalog. I’m on a pump, so it should be billed to Medicare Part B, but when I started on Medicare I don’t think they applied the appropriate designation ,so it has been billed as a Part D prescription for awhile and UHC claims it can’t be switched to a different billing “part”…. They suggested I call their MyAdvocate program, but I’m also going to submit my LillyCares application on my own, to get things started. I just can’t afford $1200 every three months.

  383. Wow. That’s ridiculous. When was the last time you filled it?

  384. It is worrisome how much drug money goes to Congress. 🙁

  385. That’s horrible. Are you able to qualify for any assistance programs? Have you talked to your doctor about this?

  386. Maybe you can switch to Toujeo. It works the same and comes with a big discount card for new users. I switch when my rx went from $50 to $450. Toujeo seems to be working as well as levemir.

  387. I am a third generation type 1 diabetic. It’s ridiculous that people can’t pay for a life saving medication!

  388. We tried the free market. That’s what was there before the ACA. Talk about broken!
    Competition doesn’t work when the market is not transparent.
    Before you know single payer, you should try it out. I have. I’ll take it any day over what we had. You can still go and get your own “add-on” policies, or pay for a procedure/meds yourself.

  389. Right now I am on Obamacare. I take 17 vials per month of Lantus. The dose is extremely high, but it works very well. The cost for 17 vials is $4400. If not for insurance, I would be in a hell of a fix. Unfortunately I will be forced to go on Medicare in January, 2017. My part D coverage will not even cover the cost of Lantus for the first month. After January I am in a heap of trouble when I fall into the infamous Medicare donut hole. The monthly cost for Lantus will suddenly zoom to more than $2000 with Part D and then last until I’ve spent almost $5,000 on Lantus. Anyone have any suggestions for this problem?

  390. Any info/experience with VGO disposable insulin delivery 20-30 or 40 (units) over 24 hrs. ?
    Delivery amt. ordered by Dr. ( Husband is seeing Endocrinologist). Insulin deliver with needle under skin (plastic device attaches to skin “loaded” with the prescribed insulin type. Applied and rotated site every 24 hrs. No more injecting other insulin in syringes or insulin pens.

  391. Yikes, sorry to hear about this predicament, Richard! Do you mind if we share this comment on social media to try to get some answers and input for you?

  392. Share away. I’d like some sort of answer. My health is on the line.

  393. You may be able to qualify for Medicaid, which will cover all costs not covered by medicare. Also there are many medicare providers (not just the red blue and white card). You may also look into the insulin makers website and see if they offer any kind of assistance to at least help knock down the costs.

  394. I was just recently diagnosed with type 2 & i am taking Novolin 70/30 The first time I had it refiled at Kroger It was $75,,I have Obamacare With a $3000 deductible…. Is there any place I can get it cheaper? Also I’m unemployed was let go after being there for 9 years & can’t afford $75

  395. I live in NC, so I don’t qualify for Medicaid. I’ve already applied and been rejected. I can’t find any Medicare providers that cover the part D donut hole. The Lantus manufacturer does offer assistance, but there are income limits. The assistance does not consider the more than $50,000/year cost for their drug. Thanks for the suggestions though.

  396. I did at one time order my Lantus from Canada at 1/4 the price here in U.S. Suggest you look for pharmacy outside U.S. where price will be much less.

  397. I live in NC, I don’t qualify for Medicaid. I’ve already tried. And as far as I know, nobody covers the donut hole. The maker of Lantus does not consider the cost of the medicine when deciding if you qualify for assistance. only your income. I am just barely over the income line. But thanks for the suggestions.

  398. Fortunately the patent on Lantus glargine expires this year and there are a two other drug companies with biosimilars waiting in the wings. IIRC both are already selling the biosimilars in europe. Until then I’m getting my Lantus from Mexico (going there myself) and Canada (by mail). There are still a few pharmacies who will ship from Canada – you just have to really do your research to make sure they are legit.

  399. It is indeed. The problem is our government is in bed with Sanofi, the maker of Lantus, Sanofi somehow convinced the FDA to write to the Canadian pharmacies shipping Lantus to the US. Specifically the FDA wrote, among other things, “Even if a prescription drug is approved in the U.S., if the drug is also originally manufactured in the U.S., it is a violation of the act [FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. 301 & U.S.C. 381(d)(1)] for anyone other than the U.S. manufacturer to import the drug into the United States.” Link:

  400. Right. Isn’t it interesting that many other commercial businesses have been able to control temperatures for all kinds of perishables yet the FDA has decided that pharmacies somehow can’t do control the temperatures. Can you tell I’m a little pissed off at the FDA.

  401. I understand the FDA has cut off the Canada supply. Can you suggest any other sources?

  402. Thanks for the info.

  403. This is why Trump may be a good fit for the U.S. Something has to be done. maybe all of us diabetics need to have a civil war in the U.S.and we take over the government and make things right. A lot of people die anyway because they cant afford their medications. Something has to be done.

  404. The big pharm companies are related to the devil. I quit my Job at Pfizer because I saw what greedy piece of shit pigs the higher ups were. Lots of misguided spending in big pharm. An example my aunt was a private flight attendant for Monsanto and on one trip they flew a group of 6 people from the U.S. to Africa. One of the ladies had to come back a day early so she had the plane fly her back and then return to pick up the other people. The pilot told my aunt that just cost $20,000 to do that. What was wrong with taking a commercial first class flight home? Lets jack up prices to cover that.

  405. I am truly sorry. I wish I could do something to help. It is so wrong. I have been so angry for the last 10 years because I see what is going on. i have to pay for my health coverage ($800 a month) and then since i am a diabetic i pay another $400 a moth for diabetic stuff. I have been a diabetic for 34 years and for the last 10 years i have been upset by the way these pharm companies have raised prices and made it more stress full for everybody be try and be a healthy diabetic. We are being beat down and left to live a slow complicated death because we cant afford to take care of ourselves.

    About 15 years ago when I lost my job and could not afford my insulin I would go into Walmart ask for 2 bottles of Insulin and say i wanted to pay for it at the register and at that then i would steal it. You could just buy insulin over the counter at that time. I figured if i got caught maybe somebody would take notice that you need to give diabetics easy access to the medication you need to survive. if you were a cop and wanted to arrest me for stealing something i needed to survive go ahead and realize what a big douche bag you would be later.

    I wish something could fix this. My family misses out on vacations and other fun things other healthy families get to do because they dont have a father who is a diabetic and spends a lot more money than most families on medications to keep them alive. My family is punished by my slightly above median income diabetic ass. Hang in there Sharon.

  406. Truthfully no. All I can say is welcome to America. Is there a local government health department in the area that offers low cost or no cost doctor visits and prescription drugs? It would be put on by the state you live in. I was unemployed for a month one time and had to resort to that type of situation to get insulin for about 2 months. It sucks that we are put in a predicament like this. Who in the hell can afford what is happening to most diabetics today. My family misses out on fun things like vacations because insulin prices have gone so high and now I cant save much money to treat my family to the things that other families get to do without a diabetic father.

  407. This is a sad situation. Our country should be ashamed that this is what healthcare has come to.

  408. I’m on humalog kwikpen retail price $560.00, Tresiba Flextouch $651.99 retail price. Come September when my new insurance goes into effect I will have to pay $280.10 for my Humalog which I get every3 weeks, $325.90 for Tresiba. That will be $606.00 just for insulin then I have to add 8 other prescription. I don’t make that much in 2 weeks of work. Besides stressing I am terrified because I won’t be able to pay for my medication. I have had type 1 diabetes for 26 years. I would not wish this illness on anyone, I have no idea where I am going to get the money for my medication. What do I pay first my mortgage or medication?? The pharmaceutical companies are greedy and they are hurt innocent people. I don’t want to be rich but what I do want is being able to get the insulin I need to live.

  409. Very sorry to hear about this Heather! Many Americans are facing the same dilemma. Have you tried any of the patient assistance programs? For Humalog: We have information on our website regarding finding ways to save on prescriptions as well.

  410. When I had the problem of the high cost of Novalog and Lantus after my Part D benefits used and I was to pay 100% I found a Canadian Pharmacy that sold it for what my co pays had been, each under $50. The manufacturer was same as brand sold in U.S. just in different package with slightly different name. Having worked in pharmaceuticals I knew the drugs from outside U.S. met higher standards than required here. This pharmacy two years ago stopped exporting to U.S. under threat from our government. However, I now get mine thru the VA for free, but some pay $8 per prescription. The VA can negotiate price and Medicare cannot. There are still overseas pharmacies including Britain that will export and some with guaranteed delivery. Suggest you seek them out. The fare to Canada is less than $500, so might be wise to fly up there and send some home to yourself and carry some across thru Customs. Anyone living near the border can easily cross over. No prescription required.

  411. Move to Canada or a border state, maybe drive or fly up there to get same Rx for under $50.


    Hi Scott just came across your comment and wanted to ask if you are here or near richmond va and what kind of flexpen do you use?

  413. I’m a commercial fisherman and also type one. I have to buy my insulin in bulk due to bring gone for months on end. I recently went to the pharmacy to refill my prescription and found out it would cost me three thousand dollars for ten vials!! I have no insurance and pay out of pocket. I was getting my prescription from Canada but no longer can do that. I’m unable to go to Canada due to a DUI. What about mexico and how many vials can I bring back through customs!

  414. Richard, I’m 38 yrs IDDM and I’m speechless. You use 17,000 units of Humalog in 1 MONTH? That’s 560 units per day. Really? Wow!! It takes me 12 months to use 17 vials. Glad it works for you.
    I agree with the other comments about taking a trip to Canada, rather than south to Mexico. I never purchase insulin from Mexico.

    HOCK AND WALKED OUT WITHOUT HIS MEDICINE…i DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO…WITHOUT IT HE WILL DIE,,,He was just in the hospital with a blood sugar of 800!!! And now this…

  416. I agree Scott,,we ALL need to fight this terrrible rip-off from the drug companies…..all forone and one for all!!!!!

  417. I developed Type 1 diabetes when I was 14. I am now 57. I take the Novolin insulin R and N. A couple of years ago I could buy it at Walgreens and other pharmacies for $40. I thought that was exhorbant, so I switched to Walmart, who could get it much cheaper. Last month I was out of state and running low on my Novolin N. When I went to Walmart to buy more, they told me they were out and that I would need to go to another pharmacy. When I did, The insulin was $190 a bottle. It was that much at each pharmacy I went to. I go through 3 bottles a month between the R and the N!!! What the heck? A $150 price increase? I decided to hope for the best and made do until Walmart could get more in stock. What has caused this?

  418. As a T1D of 31 years who has never required more than one vial per month, I had to chime in here as I’m highly concerned about the type of diet that requires 17 vials of long acting insulin per month. I know everyone’s body is different, but this is frighteningly and bizarrely extreme. I have never heard of such a dosage for any diabetic, T2 or especially T1, anywhere at any time. Is there a lack of nutritional food available where you live? What are your food choices and nutritional education? Most Americans exist on an abundance of chemical laden high carb manufactured items rather than real food and I worry that you are one of these cultural victims. Living in a southern state greatly impacts nutritional choices and education. I hope the best for you.

  419. regular insulin and NPH are less than $30 a vial at my local Walmart.

  420. Diabetes for 44+ years. Started with Lente, Ultra Lente then Regular, then NPH, then tried Lantus, then Tresiba. All are too expensive so went back to the “old school” R and N insulin – Regular and NPH. Regular and NPH together in the am gets me thru the entire day (R covers morning and N covers afternoon) Then R at dinner and NPH at bedtime. Routine, no ups and downs like with Humalog. Nice to be able to afford my insulin now that I am only on R and N again.

  421. With all the coverage of EpiPens this week, why can’t the news cover the high cost of insulin? It effects both children and adults. Does anyone out there know of an origination that could get this done? I just picked up my sons insulin (Novalog) and even with our insurance it was $768.00 for three vials. The pharmacy clerk was in shock.

  422. I’m almost positive the insulin you get at Walmart is their brand. If you went to another drug store, probably got The R and N humulin made by Eli Lilly. Big difference in price.

  423. Not sure if this will help you, but my mom just went on Medicare 2 years ago and bought a supplement plan and a prescription plan. Not sure if one of those might help pay for your insulin.

  424. Nancy! You are right on target! Why there has been no public outcry about this, I’ll never know. Each and every one of us, and especially those using these drugs, should be HOUNDING their elected officials and putting pressure on them to change this! Nothing more than corporate greed run wild, and it’s all ok, because no one speaks up in large numbers.

  425. With Big Pharma regulating Congress, I’m not sure what can be done.

  426. I appreciate your concern, but the number of vials I use doesn’t seem to concern my doctor or my pharmacist. I eat a good diet – low carbs. I am not a “cultural victim” as you suggest. What I eat is not affected by where I live.

  427. I use Lantus, not Humalog.

  428. Hello, I am going on Medicare in January. I will purchase Part D for prescription drugs, but it will still cost me nearly $5,000 per year for insulin. It’s called the “donut hole”.

  429. My husband is diabetic for 45 year and is 74 and on SS he is in the donut hole and we are paying almost $700. FOR A 3 MONTH SUPPLY, we need to find a cheaper place as our son lives with us and is also diabetic and we are his power of attorney.

  430. I mentioned insulin when replying to a MarketWatch story about all the epipen stuff. We kinds drop dead without insulin…

  431. Hi heather, Novo Nordisk offers a discount card for tresiba up to $500 a prescription. You can find more of the information at
    Eli Lilly the maker of Humalog offers a savings card for the u-200 kwikpen up to $100 dollar savings. I’d encourage you to speak with your doctor to see if you can switch to the u-200 in my case it made it cheaper to do the u-200 kwikpens rather than the u-100

  432. Pingback: Serious Health Consequences for People Who Cannot Afford Their Diabetes Medications | PJAG

  433. Tried to charge us $800 while in donut hole. Can’t afford so not taking

  434. Betty, we are so sorry to hear this but there has to be another option. What type of insulin do you take? Maybe there is a program to help. Have you seen our list of resources?

  435. Donna, very sorry to hear about this predicament. Has your husband talked to his doctor about the price of his meds? Also, you might find some help on our resources page.

  436. Nancy, we’re working on raising the profile of this issue. Stay tuned. Are you signed up for our newsletter?

  437. Yes, it’s certainly as serious. 🙁

  438. At a press conference earlier this week, Rep. Ellison called it a classic problem of the money vs. the many. He urged grassroots action, which is what we are trying to spark. If the public is outraged enough, change can happen.

  439. Mikee, you might try applying for a waiver to get into Canada.

  440. I have read Hillary Clinton has announced plans to form an advisory committee to study the rising cost of drugs. You can contact Mrs. Clinton at and leave a message about you concerns about the cost of insulin. I left the following message:

    Richard Moore from Reidsville wrote on September 3, 2016 on 9:42 pm:

    I have read of your interest in drug pricing reform. I make $22,000 per year. My insulin cost is $4,000 per month. Insulin was invented in 1925. Something is wrong with these numbers. Please investigate the rapidly rising cost of insulin. My life depends on taking insulin. Thank you.

    I encourage readers of this list to do the same.

  441. I don’t believe this discount applies if you do not have insurance coverage. So no insurance, no assistance. This seems backwards. Can you confirm?
    Thank you

  442. Look at all the money we saved with the new health care plan. Let’s keep going in that direction. Rates are just going down, prescription prices are at an all time low. It’s really good. We need another Obama.

  443. Healthcare in the US is a broken system and Obamacare is not the cause, it is a consequence. I can find the same insulin lantus (same brand name) abroad at 1/10 of its cost here, and yes, I can buy it over the counter. Why do Americans need to pay 10 times more and sometimes even more for medications than other countries???? Explain that to me before blaming Obamacare please!. Even my insurance co-payment for prescription drugs is higher than the costs of bringing my medication from abroad!

  444. What would you suggest? If not for Obamacare, I would have no insurance and no way to pay $4,000 per month for insulin. I would be in serious trouble.

  445. Please tell me where I can buy Lantus at 1/10 of the cost of U.S.A. You can email me at if you’d like. It doesn’t help much to tell me it can bought abroad. Where can it be bought abroad?

  446. Must be nice. Thanks to Obamacare I am screwed. I’m a type 1 diabetic who has had it for 46 years and never once did I not have great health insurance, until that crap came along. Now I have a huge deductible to pay before I can go to the doctors or have a prescription filled. If it wasn’t from my doctor cutting me a break with visits and giving me insulin I would most likely be dead now. So Obamacare might have been the answer for you, but for other diabetics it has become a death sentence!

  447. I can no longer afford insulin.After experimenting with pills to control my diabetes,I have found that they make little significant difference in my glucose levels.At present I am not taking any medication for my type two diabetes.On a strict diet I am able to keep my glucose levels between 150 and 220.I have accepted that this is the best I can do.

  448. So, you’re all for socialist medicine. She doesn’t give a flip about any prescription problem. She won’t be taking care of any of us.

  449. No one has saved. Are you kidding me?? You’re another socialist.

  450. I have been a type 1 for over 52 yrs. I am on Medicare and a prescription drug plan with large co-pays.

  451. Because the government is in cahoots with the drug makers. Drug lords is what the government is.

  452. Obamacare saved my life. Can anyone explain the difference between my Obamacare experience and Guest2014’s experience?

  453. My husband is diabetic. He is on three diabetes medications. We are on Medicare. So, his medication for just his diabetes per month is $800.00. This doesn’t even include the heart medication or the thyroid medication . Something has to be done. The drug companies are holding the people of the United States hostage. We are being legally robbed. The government has its hand in everything else to regulate, why are they not regulating the drug companies practice of raising prices just because they can.

  454. While working for the washoe county school district I have always paid high premiums for private insurance. I take medication for high blood pressure and Cholestral. I was taking 80 units of Lantus insulin. I retired .. I met the medi gap after turning 65. I changed to Promince insurance and Medicare here in Reno, nv.
    I now have to pay 50 percent of the Lantis, because of the medi gap. Three months ago I decide to stop taking Lantis. My dr. Didn’t recommend it. I asked for more Medaformin . I have lost 20 pounds which is great and I feel better. But my blood sugars range from 250 to 375 throughout the day. My AC 1 is 12. My dr. Is very concerned about my health. He recommend me to go back on the Lantus Insulin. I agreed to 40 units each evening. I went to Walmart to get it and had to pay $200.00 for it. I’m 65 and retired. I don’t qualify for any discounts because I have a government insurance call Medicare.
    I didn’t know that the government would make the elderly pay more. With all the illegal aliens coming into our country because Obama said we need to take care of them. Well ,what about the people that live here in the United States. We are not getting the care or health needs because we are paying for everyone else. I say we
    need take care of our own people, especially the elderly.
    I have no options to go to until I pay $3,000. That Medicare says I have to keep paying the $200.00 until I meet the $3,000. So that is 15 months of $200.00 a month then they say I will be back to paying $45.00 until I get to $3000. Does this make since.

  455. Pam, How are you spending $800.00 a month with Medicare??
    You have to live with the simple fact the goverment which is the people we elected don’t care. The drug companies have 4 lobbiests for each senater and congressman in office to make sure them stay in line and keep prices high.

  456. Walmart brand is Novolin is made by

    Novo Nordisk. I’m reading the bottle now.

  457. None of this makes “since” to me.

  458. If you have medicare complete AARP and on a pump you still can’t get part B because you have this plan. How stupid is this crap.

  459. PLEASE READ THIS. The cost of a vial of insulin at Walmart is $24.88. YOU READ THAT RIGHT. It is non prescription and I buy it there so my insurance doesn’t take the hit for the FULL price against my “doughnut hole”. Walmart sells this at NO LOSS. Which means that PHARMACIES are ripping us off even worse than most imagine.

  460. Matthew, go to Walmart for insulin. Twenty five bucks a vial. No prescription.

  461. Im intrigued by this. Do you just go to the counter and say I want to buy a vial of insulin? I just switched to insulin because I am trying to get pregnant and the cost is ridiculous. Something that is needed and saves lives should not be so expensive.

  462. Yes, Lisa, human insulin is available under the ReliOn brand at Walmart for just $25 a vial. This is an older generation insulin with a different action profile than the newer generation insulins (rapid and long-acting). It can be purchased over the counter in many states, but it’s still important to be under a doctor’s care when using it.

  463. Lisa, both N-regular and R- fast acting are available. Walmart calls it ReliOn, but the vials read Novolin, the original brand which Walmart bought. IF your Doc prescribes it, take as directed. Strangely you do not need a Doc’s prescription to buy it. But as the Advocate said, it is EXTREMELY important to follow Doctor’s orders. Just tell them you need insulin N or R and they’ll know what you’re talking about. Keep refrigerated. Lately I’ve seen reference to the thought it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but STILL must be kept cool.

    Good luck with both the diabetes and the pregnancy.

  464. Thanks to you. Just stumbled on this site and it is a much needed place to air grievances and exchange valuable information. Another place that can provide some deeply discounted drugs is Costco. And you do NOT need to be a member to buy prescriptions there. A caveat. My experience with Costco was years ago. I do not know if they still offer the much cheaper drugs. I’m GUESSING though that they do. Give them a call and check prices before making the trip.

  465. Right, and that is the brand my insurance covers. Though at twenty five bucks a pop I don’t USE the insurance. Wamart’s 12 cents cheaper than my co-pay.

  466. Yes, good point Tom! Thanks for your helpful comments! We have a page where we’ve been compiling resources and should probably add info about Costco.

  467. I am Chris and have been taking insulin for more then 50 years. When I started as a child it was non prescription and cost less then 80 cents per vile. It was beef and pork insulin. Now I pay more then $25.00 per vile at Walmart the best price which I have found. I have lived on a sail boat all my life with no refrigeration and the insulin I took this am was 4 years out of date and has never been in frig since it was purchased. This same insulin will kill me just as dead if I don’t eat as the in date stuff. I have purchased a lot of insulin since the early 60s and have never had a prescription for a single vile. If you have any type of diabetes, or any other chronic ailment, you will be targeted and brutally victimized by the pharmaceutical industry and drug companies. They do kinda have a captive consumer base. And don’t get me started on the blood glucose test strips. There have been working non invasive glucose test units for the past decade and 1/2. But they will not be marketed in US as long as the strips pull in so much profit. Just remember despite anything they say their primary motive is PROFIT.

  468. Tom. Unfortunately, some people have to take different insulin like Lantus and Humalog, Those are not 25.00 for each vial. My husband has to take Humalog and he uses 3 vials a month which the cost without insurance is over 2,000. With a RX coupon.

  469. My insulin -Humalog and Lantus has skyrocketed in the last years from $15 — 1995 a bottle to now $270. The formula for each hasn’t changed in that time.

  470. How can you pay $4,000 a month if you only make $22,000/12-= $1833 ??? I want your deal!

  471. ?? SAVED MONEY on new health care? Not if you work…..and must be you do not work full time.
    When I was able to work, my premiums went up 25% the first year of your new health care. Forced to retire due to my health, my insurance premiums went up another 25%. And no, having Medicare doesn’t matter. Medicare A & B do not cover prescription drugs. That’s why I pay for additional insurance for things like office calls, tests, X-rays and prescriptions.
    In January, my premiums are going up $90 a month! with less coverage.
    As justicewon1 stated Clintion doesn’t care about any of us. She’s only after power. As she is a thief and a liar, you better hope she doesn’t get elected. Of course if you do not agree, feel free to cast your ballot and stick yer head back in the sand.
    Or if you want to know what to expect, you could read the last chapter (Revelation) of the King James Bible. It’s all there in black and white. Fact is, North American isn’t even mentioned which tells me we will already be anilated or whatever. It doesn’t matter either way because God WILL have His way.

  472. How can I do? Read my statement. I have Obamacare. Obamacare pays $4,000 per month.

  473. Here’s what doesn’t make sense. To get to the donut hole they use what you pay out of pocket PLUS what the insurer pays. Once you hit the gap only YOUR out of pocket expense is used to reach the catastrophic level. In what universe is that fair?

  474. What country are you in. Across the USA insurers are dropping out of the market. Co-pays are catastrophic and premiums are rising by 30%-50%. What flavor kool-aid are you drinking this week? Now Obama tells us the ACA is a starter home, he promised a mansion.

  475. What do you pay for insulin with Obama care?

  476. His point is he can’t afford it!

  477. Obama said it was the answer to everyone’s health care problems. Just another fib from POTUS.

  478. One of the first questions the drug companies ask is if you have any kind of prescription drug program. Even though were in the donut hole they still consider you have rx insurance and do not qualify.

  479. It’s their plan to cut social security. Unaffordable rx costs = more recipients dying earlier.

  480. Sure write and you’ll get a request for a donation to her campaign. I wouldn’t trust her with my email address.

  481. Being the genius that Obama and his crew are they all assumed that young people would jump right in and pay for insurance they don’t need and that would keep premiums down. You know assuming does!

  482. I wrote her and received no request for a donation.

  483. Call it whatever you want, but I want health care for all citizens.

  484. Nothing.

  485. As sad as it all is, after crying for most of the day, I actually feel better reading that I am not alone. Both of my boys, 11 and 13, were hospitalized and diagnosed with Type 1 last year. My ex, who doesn’t pay child support but is responsible for the medical insurance for the boys, had them insured on his plan through work. He paid the premiums at $500 a month and we shared in the deductible of $12,000 annually. After deductible, I had to pay 25% co pay. The ex quite his job in September and didn’t tell me. I found out when I tried to refill the insulin prescription. Since the 30 days had passed before I was even aware, I wasn’t able to add them to my plan through work.

    Now I am trying to add the boys to my insurance during open enrollment December 1st. In the mean time, Humalog for their insulin pump is at $317 a bottle. I use a bottle a week. Of course, any good mother will make sure the children are on CGM’s and insulin pumps so that they are safe when they are away from home. With all of the various supplies that have run out, I am looking at a $5000 bill for supplies, only to pay it all over again come December 1. Trust me, I don’t have that kind of money and have no idea where to turn for help.

    I am considered “middle class”, but trust me, trying to pay for two children with what has been explained as “environmental diabetes”, is not easy at all. Since I do not qualify for any type of government support, when you reduce from my salary the amount of taxes I pay and then reduce it by my medical costs, I am no longer even close to being labeled middle class. Thanks for nothing Obama care. If I hear one more person say “thanks to Obama care, I get to play my music instead of getting a job, AND I finally was able to get the operation I wanted to on my hand”, I am going to scream.

    I can’t even pretend to support a program that makes it easy for some non life threatening medical needs to be free for some, while it takes all the strength I have to just keep my children alive,

  486. And don’t forget how quickly it gets you to the donut hole

  487. Where do you get it? Some overseas co. Won’t ship insulin because of the FDA warning if not kept cold it may go bad.

  488. Very sorry to hear about this predicament, Faith! Thank you for sharing. Prescription assistance programs vary in terms of their financial requirements, some may be less stringent. Have you looked checked into resources such as: the Assistance Fund (, Partnership for Prescription Assistance ( or RxAssist (

  489. Hi Faith,
    Im in disbelief reading your x quit his job and the stress it has caused you.I am so very sorry.I know as a Mom and a type 1Diabetic since age 7,what you are going through.Your name says it all.
    A man on this thread talked about Walmart selling reg insulin for the pump at 25.actually$24.88.They also carry n insulin.I never knew this.It is called Relion but the bottles read novolin.Also blood strips and meters are $7.-10.00 on Amazon.My meter is True result and the test strips it takes is Arriva medical Truetest or true test.You dont need a prescription for the Walmart Insulin.Just go to the counter and ask.
    Many prayers for you and your boys.A cure will be seen by your boys soon.I dont wish anyone by the hardship of Diabetes.

  490. Hi,im curious how going on insulin will help you get pregnant?Im
    Not being rude,just wondering.

  491. Debbie; I just returned from Walmart, trying to purchase their Relion insulin as I can no longer afford the Lantus and Novolog I’m suppose to use. They refused to sell it to me until they get my doctor’s approval along with the amount I should take. Apparently, their insulin doesn’t allow one to just switch from a name brand to theirs without making us jump through hoops. It’s not easy to try to help yourself anymore.

    We’re retired and on a limited budget and I’m afraid of spending all our savings on insulin. We are literally going to run out of money because of my health issue. If this is what retirement is going to be like for the rest of my life, I’m wondering why I’m still around…

  492. Oh Faith, my heart breaks for you. My daughter didn’t develop diabetes until she became an adult and I didn’t have to support her daily like you’re doing with your boys. I’ve tried to advise her, but she totally ignores my advise, So be it, she’ll definitely learn the hard way. I”m struggling with my ability to afford insulin for myself, but with your children, you’re definitely going on my prayer list. May God watch over you and your boys. I pray that somehow, with the new administration, you’ll get the help you so richly deserve for your boys. It’s got to get better for all us diabetics!

  493. Which insulin do you buy at Walmart so inexpensive? I buy humalog u100 and 3 vials $197 or so. I use the pump!

  494. The vials, type N and R is what I use. Each are $24.88 a vial. I do not use the pump but it might be worth it to call your local Walmart Pharmacy and ask. They use their own brand, called Relion, but it is just wgat was called Novolin before they bought it. It is still branded Novolin.

  495. I take the Trulicity 1 a week injections and I got a call from the pharmacy ( my wife works there) and they were just confirming that we wanted to order a month supply for $700. 4 Pens. 1 a week, $700. As luck would have it, I got on their website(Lily I think ) and got a card. I pay $25 a month for my shots now. Without their card, i would be in trouble. I wonder if the government is in kahootz with FDA and drug manufacturers to practice population control. How else can anyone justify the costs of this stuff? And this was just one medication. One of my other ones is $746 a month fro 30 pills.

  496. Yes, I just came back from my local Walmart, went into the Pickup line and asked for one R insulin. The cashier went to the fridge, took it out, showed it to me to make sure it was the right one and scanned it ($25) I paid with my debit card. Very easy, no questions asked, no prescription needed.
    Ps: you can buy more than one at a time

  497. Gary Fabbri I have been taking for 57 years and when I started I payed 10.00 er vial. I noe pay 40.00 er vial. This is very desterbing to me and others This is so stupid to pay these prices Shame on you This is AMERICA or is it SHAME,SHAME on these drug mnf.. You should be ashamed of yourself It’s all about the $ and that’s it Stick it you no where

  498. Now I’m curious. Is 6 units of humalog equal to 6 units walmart N? Does 16 units lantus = 16 units walmart r? I’m only 63 but don’t want to spend all my savings on insulin.

  499. Insulin types are not interchangeable; they’re processed differently by the body. That’s why your doctor needs to be involved. Just go see your doctor and get a new prescription.

  500. I am a 65 year old male on social security disability. My insulin Co have more than doubled over the last year. On a fixed income 670 dollars every 90 days is truly a “killer “. I will have to stop when my last vial runs out, and what I have read and what my Doctor says, will be fatal. I have no choice.

  501. So, that means that generics are around the corner. When patents are expiring the drug lords increase the price to maximize income from a drug knowing they will lose market share once the generic comes out. My insurance company has stopped my Levemir insulin Pen, they have authorized the 2 new products out in Dec 2016, both are generic pens at 1/2 the price. 1 or both have been on the market in Canada for the last year.

  502. Contact Lily or who ever is making your insulin and ask for help with the cost, If you are low income there is help available, should be generics available too.

  503. That’s because generics are on their way

  504. I am in the same boat! Thanks to our Congressmen and Senators, which are on the pad some way. That is why Canada has lower prices. We Americans are being led to the slaughter by the elected. Go figure. Why do men leave excellent paying positions to become Politicians. We are stupid for letting them serve more than one term. But then they make to rules so……

  505. Thank you Bob Smith,here’s the Rub. First of all there are no generic insulin options, I have contacted “Sanofil” , manufacturer of Lantus (basically INSULIN) my Medicare income puts me just over the “threshold” for discounts. A patient needs to meet the requirements to gualify for Medicaid. This puts most of us in a “catch 22”. You must choose to cut back on housing, medicines or food.

  506. Certainly seems like population control to those of caught in the Messenger. I am already suffering from “cutting my dose in half” and weaning off insulin altogether
    I know the consequences of my actions, but given the choices Of housing, food or medical, meds is the only one that will not jeprodize my family home . My quality of life gets worse each year and I am really poor company anyway.

  507. I understand and feel terrible for you Dave, best of luck. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  508. Damn, Faith my troubles pale in comparison to your situation, frankly I feel like a whining self absorbed Jerry. God Bless your entire family. You will all be be in my thoughts and prayers. I hope there’s truth in to rumors of a Generic alternative in the works.

  509. Ronald and John, Did you know that insulin is available under the ReliOn brand at Walmart for just $25 a vial? This is an older generation insulin with a different action profile but it’s far better than the alternative! It can be purchased over the counter in many states (though it’s still important to be under a doctor’s care when using it).

  510. Thank you, I will check with my Doctor ASAP

  511. I have BCBS of NC with an out of pocket deductible of $6000. I have to pay almost full price for my insulin (I have an insulin pump). Right now, my insulin is $767 a MONTH! I am waiting to hear back from my dr if I can use Relion R in my pump. If not, I’m not able to afford my insulin and have no idea what I am going to do. SO FRUSTRATED!!!!!

  512. I went into the donut hole for the first time in Nov 2016 due to my Humalog 75/25 insulin Kwikpen. In the first half of 2016 my co-pay went from 45.00 a month to 165.00 when I hit the hole. I thought surely the vials and syrinces would be a lot less expensive. To my amazement, it’s only about 100.00 less.

    I will go into the donut hole by April or May this year at that kind of cost. I’m on a fixed income. I cannot afford the rediculous increase. 80% of my pancreas doesn’t work. I recently lost down to 124lbs. My Dr was shocked that my blood sugar didn’t stablelize without insulin. I don’t have a clue as what to do.

  513. Sorry to hear this, Marge! Have you talked to your doctor about this? Have you already looked into Eli Lilly’s patient assistance program?

  514. Angie, this is a crazy burden. 🙁 Have you heard back from your doctor?

  515. Bob, would you mind giving the names of these new products? Are they working for you?

  516. John, were you able to find a solution? Hope so!

  517. so I don’t have diabetes, but I just saw a piece on the news about skyrocketing prices of insulin, and it pissed me off! I hate drugs companies! I don’t like doctors much either. So, I don’t go. I listen to talk radio at work, I’m a truck driver, so who needs the home shopping network! I’m a sucker for buying things I hear about and let’s face it see on tv too. So anyways, I have bought and tried a few products that have been very helpful! What I believe would help everybody is super beets. Great for circulation for your heart and it’s supposed to give you stamina and energy, anyways I used to get UTI’s and did the whole drink 2 gallons of cranberry juice and wait a day to feel better, well I had recently purchased super beets and I thought ok it’s red let’s see if it helps. 20 minutes later I felt better! It blew the cranberry thing out of the water and I love it! They don’t advertise that it helps with UTI’s or kidney stuff, but I’m here to tell you OH Yeah it does! I’ve told many of the drivers I work with (I’m a local driver in Missouri) It has helped them to stay awake for their night shifts. And it’s good for you! Oh yeah its a freezdried beets so its a powder, one teaspoon in four ounces of water, stir it up and drink it like a shot of whiskey. I’m not a beet fan but it’s pretty good! I was drinking about a six pack of mountain dew a night, and was waking up with my kidneys hurting! So I heard about they’re on coast to coast am all the time so I bought it and they have an answer for everything! And it’s natural stuff! So I got the kidney stuff and 90 essential nutrients and diet stuff, and I quit the Mountain Dew, and it has helped! My kidneys don’t wake me up anymore and I CAN PEE! YAY!!! I had gotten to the point I was getting scared I was gonna die if I didn’t do something. So I spent around $400 on this stuff and dang if my puppy didn’t eat the top off my diet drips, and spill the whole dang thing on the carpet! So I tried that one time. Can’t tell you how that would have worked. So I went to bed bath and beyond and bought the simpli fit board from off of shark tank. So yay, I hope this helps you all, if not maybe you got a good laugh. Take care everyone!

  518. Not sure why that happened to you Ninner… maybe it’s the state that you’re in? Mine does not require a prescription, and Walmart just sells it OTC… check out your local laws in surrounding nearby states. That might make all the difference.

  519. Me too Anita! It seems odd, but Humulog seems to not work as well as the Walmart Stuff… Seems almost “watered down” to me. I’ll do a “corrective dose” in the AM to cover an overnight high, wait an hour, and NOTHING. But as soon as I do my WM R dose, it goes back down to normal. Note, I only have those highs if I go out at night and don’t do my late evening dose til I get home, which is of course a dumb thing to do LOL. Normally with your same regimen, I am completely well controlled, with just the Novolin R/N… I find it strange… Same thing when I used the HUMULIN R… before discovering Relion… watered down effect. The walmart stuff works BETTER. You have to wonder what we are really paying so high a price for, don’t ya? By the way, don’t say you HAVE to take the expensive stuff… you do NOT. The scare tactics don’t work on me, never will. TRY the cheaper stuff and see, it won’t hurt, and may save your life.

  520. Try the Walmart stuff. It WORKS. 🙂

  521. Yeah it is a bad situation all the way around. Luckily my wife just landed a decent job that has insurance that is second to none that is actually affordable as ironic as that sounds now days. The issue is getting meds until new insurance kicks in the first of Feb. My doctor was really great and gave me 5 weeks of Trajenta and the Trulicity for 4 weeks. if not for that I would have been in trouble. I was literally a walking sugar cube without it all. My average daily sugar was running up words of 475-500 daily. I have now got my 30 day average down to 126 and my 14 day down to 118.

  522. Your doctor should be able to work with the manufacturers to get you your insulin for free or significantly discounted. Go online to the manufacturers website and they will tell you how to do that. You and the Dr have to fill out paperwork.

  523. If I didn’t have insurance there would be no way I could afford $310.00 for Novolog and another $320.00 for Lantus every month! $600.00+ a month for drugs people NEED is strong arm robbery. I already have had a heart attack and my kidneys have suffered damage due to being unable to afford the insulin when I didn’t have insurance. This is the results of not staying on top of the disease plus a lot more serious health risks as well. Strong armed robbery!

  524. Are you kidding me? The prices of RX’s is ridiculous. It’s bad enough I pay $80.00 for 1 type of insulin, but I get a 3 month supply. Now, a website I go to now shows the price of $120.00. I can’t afford this even with BCBSM insurance. I don’t make a lot of money so now I will have to re-adjust my budget for medicine. Thanks Drug manufacturers, I will now have to get 2 jobs to pay for insulin!

  525. go to your insulin websites main website and they usually have coupons to use in conjunction with private insurance. if you can get your insulin switched to apidra which you can use in a pump you can get a year supply for free by using their savings card along with your private insurance.

  526. Raymond Lengvarsky

    I have united health care, what a joke, I am paying close to 500.00 a month, for what is the top level insurance my company offers, last year I was paying about a 45.00 a month copay on each of my insulins, this year about 355.00 per month for each of my insulins,which I have not had since February, I have been taking the cheap walmart insulin which does not work well for me, and I am already starting to lose feeling and use of my hands. My doctor is tryi.g to help, but the drug companies are no longer providing samples, and the few they get are reserved for newly diagnosed diabetics for training. The drug companies patient assistance programs won’t help if you have any kind of health insurance at all, I have filed a complaint against United Healthcare with the state insurance commission, and I urge all diabetics being gouged by them to do so as well.

  527. I have been type 1 since I was 7 years old.(45 years) When I first started insulin in the 1970’s, U-40 some of you may remember, it cost my parents $7-10 a vial, which lasted 3-4 weeks. As I got older I was switched to U-100 during the 1980’s, Lente and Semi-Lente, which cost between $12-20 until the 1990’s. During the 90’s my insulin increased to $50 a vial. I went to the pump at the turn of the century and had to upgrade to using Humalog which I discovered, cost a whopping $250 per vial. That was 1998. Now a vial of Humalog is priced online between $350-$500. They listed the original prices, then the “discounted” prices they so generously gave. This is price gouging at the extreme. It has nothing to do with Obamacare or Trumpcare or Nobodyreallycares. It is Congress protecting their cash cows, the pharmaceutical companies, so they can get re-elected. We need to work toward election reform. I am getting tired of our elected officials lining their pockets with my money and protecting these special interest groups. It is ironic how Trump promised to empty the swamp, but all he seems to be doing is protecting the rich special interest groups, (Cutting their taxes by 20%), and placing more of the financial burden on the middle and lower classes.

  528. From Wikipedia: Extortion
    “(also called shakedown, outwrestling and exaction) is a criminal offense of obtaining money, property, or services from an individual or institution, through coercion. It is sometimes euphemistically referred to as a “protection racket” since the racketeers often phrase their demands as payment for “protection” from (real or hypothetical) threats from unspecified other parties. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime groups.” And what is more coercive than threats of blindness, amputation and all the rest you will suffer without insulin.

  529. For the past past 8 to 9 yrs I have been using Humalog 75/25 rather successfully without needing any other diabetic meds. My A1C was in the 6s. I went to the pharmacy to renew my script and was told that my insurance company (Humana) was no longer covering it. and it wold be $600.00 for 5 pens when I had been paying $135.00 for 5 pens. I’m 79 yrs of age and live on social security and live alone. This is very disheartening to say the least. Is there any way we can get these drugs from Canada (much cheaper). Why are we allowing the drug companies to hurt Americans with their greed? Eli Lilly is charging far too much.
    I’m now having to take Metformin, Novalog 70/30 and Glimepiride and the physical discomfort and pain from this is really really terrible. Help!

  530. Stop using Lantus or Levamir !!! I used to use these but get better control with NPH in a split dose with breakfast and dinner. And it only costs $24 per vial at Walmart -no prescription needed. Get your Novolog in vials and fill syringe 1st with novolog then nph.

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