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How to Afford Your Insulin If It Costs Too Much?

How to Afford Your Insulin if It Costs too Much?

by Owen Clarke 20 Oct 2022

Insulin injections – irreplaceable medications discovered nearly one hundred years ago. Millions of people nowadays need them to be able to live without severe health complications, as well as to perform daily tasks. Since 1921, after a great discovery of Canadian scientist Frederick Banting, diabetics all over the world have been using this drug for proper blood sugar control and glucose level maintenance. As a result, patients’ everyday routines and the quality of life overall improved noticeably, as well as life expectancy was increased.

Nowadays, in the USA, nearly 7.5 million people with diabetes mellitus are insulin-dependent and need this remedy to maintain normal health conditions and the functioning of all organs. However, due to the rising insulin costs, they now started looking for some alternative places and methods to buy insulin from. The most popular ones are, of course, Canadian suppliers.

Why is it so? What are the helpful methods of getting low-cost insulin? What every individual with diabetes mellitus should know about these prescription medications? Everything you need to know is in our newest article.

NoteOn the Insulin.Store website, various types of insulin medications are available for purchase. The only thing every patient needs is a valid prescription from a healthcare provider. If you have it, register your private account to start ordering. 

Why Are Insulin Drugs So Important for a Proper Diabetes Care?

As a natural hormone produced in the body, human insulin plays an extremely important role in blood glucose level control. Its main function is to break glucose cells after food consumption and help body tissues absorb them effectively and convert those into energy when needed. So, as you can see, the work of this substance is crucial for the body’s metabolism.

Sometimes, when the pancreas in the body cannot produce enough insulin on its own, or when insulin cannot function properly, diabetes mellitus occurs in a person. This dangerous health condition requires prescribed insulin to keep blood sugar levels on a normal level and make sure a person is safe, and nothing threatens their life.

If not diagnosed or treated on time, the disease may progress and increase the risk of serious health complications, namely heart problems, kidney diseases, vision impairments, and a high risk of death at a young age (because of certain emergencies). That’s why it is vital to get an insulin prescription from a doctor and start supporting the proper level of this hormone in the body as soon as possible.

Everything Diabetics Need to Know About Insulin Medications

Depending on the type of the disease, people with diabetes may require different kinds, forms, dosages of the drug to maintain a normal blood glucose level in the body. Of course, all of those are defined by the healthcare provider after a careful medical test; however, it is still important to be aware of all medicine’s variations to understand the treatment process and the way it influences health conditions in general.

Form of release

Insulin products can be prescribed in a few forms of release. The right type is chosen based on one’s comfort and preferences:

  • Vials with a syringe;
  • Pen for the injection (it can be both reusable or pre-filled disposable);
  • Insulin pump (implantable or external);
  • And so on.

Types and the difference

The main types of insulin medications vary depending on their onset, peak, concentration, durability, and other important factors. Based on those, remedies can be divided on:

  • Rapid-acting insulin;
  • Short-acting (or regular) insulin;
  • Intermediate-acting insulin;
  • Long-acting insulin;
  • Mixed type.

Brands

Speaking about the most well-known brands, patients typically use these ones based on the prescribed medication type:

  • Rapid-acting;
    humalog logo
  • Short-acting;
    novolin logo
  • Intermediate-acting (NPH);
  • Long-acting;
    levemir logo
  • Mixed.
    humulin logo

Why Did the Cost of Insulin Become So Expensive?

During the last few years, people with diabetes mellitus have noticed a significant increase in insulin prices in the USA. Now, they are up to eight or nine times higher than in, for example, Canada. That is a huge problem because a lot of diabetics simply cannot afford insulin and have to choose between their health and running into huge debts to purchase this life-saving drug.

The most common reason for this situation is, of course, an unstoppable innovation process. Dozens of years ago, there was only one type of insulin, and people didn’t bother splitting it into types and, even though it was a little uncomfortable having several shots per day, the cost was pretty affordable. Now, as insulin manufacturers come up with newer forms of the drug, the price changed as well. Of course, the number of options for blood sugar control is impressive, and the perfect brand can be picked for a patient. But was it worth it with such costs?

Huge companies understood that people need insulin products to survive, so practically any price can be charged, and they’ll still buy them.

One more vital reason is, of course, rising insurance coverage, also known as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). When those were increased, a big rise in insulin prices was noticed as well. For example, between 2014 and 2018, Lilly insulin Humalog costs went up by 52%; at the same time, the number of paid PBMs jumped up by 88%. So, even though the health insurance was increased, the final price barely changed. And don’t forget about the insulin supply chain, which mainly affects uninsured patients out there. Exactly because of those reasons, people had to come up with ideas on how to live with these rising costs and still manage to buy medications without spending literally all the money on them.

The Most Effective Ways to Purchase Affordable Insulin

Even though the insulin affordability crisis is a problem practically every person with diabetes experiences nowadays, the doses cannot be skipped to save some money. This step may lead to severe health complications, which will be more expensive than diabetes medications and, most likely, fatal. That’s why people look for tips and affordable access options to be able to control blood sugar levels effectively.

Talk to a medical professional

The healthcare provider’s main priority is, of course, a client’s well-being and health condition. That’s why it is important to talk to the doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or any other medical professional you trust to see whether there are any alternatives available. Ask about possible generic options, older and cheaper options, free insulin samples, patient assistance programs, and so on.

Contact the health insurer

It is a well-known fact that different medications brands cost differently even if the working principle is similar. The same situation is with insulin drugs. So, it is better to discuss the list of recommended medications with an insurance provider and find out which can be covered by them. After finding out cheaper options, go back to a doctor and make sure the alternatives will still be safe and suitable for you. If everything is okay, it can be switched.

Compare costs in different places

Drug prices may vary depending on the pharmacy; online and offline suppliers have different costs as well. So, think about it. However, don’t forget to check everything twice before placing an order. If you’ve never worked with an online supplier, it is better to search for them on the Internet and see whether they are well-trusted and what other users with diabetes can tell about them.

Moreover, sometimes, it is even possible to find coupons for a discount during the searching process both online and offline. So, mind that during your journey.

Call and talk to a drug company

Some insulin makers are willing to work with their clients to help them save on their insulin supplies. However, this viable alternative depends on a few factors, e.g., what is your average income and whether you have any type of insurance (government, private, etc.).

Talk to your doctor if you are not sure who your manufacturer is; this information is also included on the boxes of vials/pens. In case there is private insurance, ask whether the manufacturer has a copay card (it can be used for discounts in the local pharmacy). And, lastly, apply for a patients assistance program (PAP) if you have no insurance at all.

Look for drugs discount programs

This variant is not available to those who already have health insurance and are still looking for lower-cost insulin. However, if the discount program is used alone, the price difference may be very beneficial. Some resources that can be helpful include:

  • Partnership for Prescription Assistance will be the best for people with no health insurance;
  • Needy Meds can help to look for cheaper options of insulin medications. They typically recommend low-cost or free-drug programs and clinics that can provide you with all needed remedies.

Of course, there are more variants available out there. We recommend looking for them in your suburb, so it is easier to get in touch later.

What Not to Do to Save Money on Insulin Medications?

People who don’t have easy insulin access can sometimes do risky stuff to cut out on their insulin expanses. Some of those are so dangerous, an individual may end up in the emergency room or even hospital. Not only that, but the complication of other chronic diseases are also possible if diabetes mellitus is not treated properly. So please, take your medications as the doctor prescribed and do not try to experiment with insulin drugs. And here are some methods that should not even be considered when trying to save money on prescription remedies:

  • Skipping doses recommended by a specialist;
  • Inject less insulin than it was originally prescribed;
  • Using one-time insulin devices (pens, syringes, etc.) more than once;
  • Skip doses of the remedy.

If insulin medicines are used correctly, many life-threatening conditions can be avoided. Rationing insulin, on the other hand, has dangerous and sometimes deadly consequences. So try taking insulin as it was recommended by a medical professional and discuss all important lifestyle changes with them. Sometimes, the dosage should be corrected if there were any significant alterations in a diet, weight, prescription medications, etc.

Reasons to Buy Insulin Medications from Canada

While looking for cheaper alternatives of insulin for blood sugar levels control, people often choose Canadian suppliers because the difference in process is shocking. We are talking about hundreds of dollars on monthly insulin supply for patients. But why are medications so much more affordable in Canada than they are in the USA?

The answer is pretty simple – the Canadian government can regulate the drug prices in the country. A special institution that is responsible for food and drug administration in Canada (also known as the Canadian review board) decides what cost will be suitable and affordable for a certain medication (not only insulin). After deciding the price, Canadian pharmacists can regulate it for their pharmacies and make sure all medicines are affordable to an average person.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way in the United States. Therefore, Americans prefer buying insulin abroad because, even if you include international shipping into the price, it will still be lower than buying it from the local suppliers.

However, there is one thing that should be considered when ordering online – medications can be sold only for individual use, and the amount of drugs shouldn’t exceed a three months insulin supply. And of course, a valid insulin prescription from a medical professional is also required before confirming and sending the order. Even though it may be scary to order online from another country for the first time, it is a great alternative when remembering expensive insulins on the American market.

The Bottom Line

Insulin is life-saving medicine for people with diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2. Without it, it would be impossible to control blood glucose levels properly and, as followed, people would suffer from different dangerous health conditions ore often.

As insulin prices in the USA are too high, people are looking for alternative ways to order it or for some methods to buy it for a lower price. We discussed the most popular and effective methods of doing that in our article, so hopefully, now you understand this process much better. Thank you for tuning in. Stay safe!

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