The rising costs of diabetes medications.

After being approached this past month by several people voicing concerns about their diabetes related medication costs, I decided to dedicate this month’s column to some great cost savings ideas. Although not every suggestion will apply to everyone, hopefully you will find some ideas applicable to your needs.

According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes spend an average of $8,000 a year on diabetes-related medical care and supplies. Depending of insurance coverage and health conditions, that price tag could be much higher. Persons with diabetes are often faced with financial dilemmas, trying to balance the budget, meet other household obligations, and caring for a growing family. The following suggestions and websites offer some relief to a high percentage of persons with diabetes. As always, discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider. For those with financial constraints, there are often less expensive medications that can be substituted under medical guidance. The end goal should always be cost contained AND quality medical care.

Suggestions

  1. Always discuss your financial situation with your doctor before you pay for medication. A high percentage of people may experience “sticker shock” upon hearing a price quote from a pharmacy. Your physician may have samples of the medication available, as well as meters and injectable pens. They may also have knowledge of patient assistance programs (think “drug discount cards”) associated with the prescribed medication. It never hurts to ask.

  2. Speak with your pharmacist. They may also have information available on patient drug discount cards. In addition, they may be able to suggest drug substitutes (with final approval by your doctor) to reduce medication cost.

  3. Are you tech-savvy? Check out phone apps for information on pharmacies and their price points. Many pharmacists will honor/match a competitor’s price.

  4. Many persons with diabetes report tremendous savings by buying in bulk, as well as using mail order services for their medication delivery.

Websites

  1. www.GoodRx.com for pharmacy price comparisons

  2. www.NeedyMeds.org for drug discount card program information

  3. www.PrescriptionHope.com for over 1500 medications capped at $50/month

Pharmaceutical Patient Assistance Programs (this is not a complete list)

  1. www.pparx.org Partnership for Prescription Assistance

  2. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/financial-help-diabetes-care

  3. https://www.cornerstones4care.com/patient-assistance-program.html Novo Nordisk

  4. www.toujeo.com Toujeo Insulin Glargine injectable

  5. www.lantus.com/sign-up/savings-and-support Lantus Insulin Glargine injectable

  6. www.januvia.com/special-offers/ Januvia/Sitagliptin tablets

Medications play an important role in your diabetes management. Let’s make sure you have full access to what’s best for your continued good health.

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