Consumer Reports: Lowering insulin costs for diabetics

Insulin prices have skyrocketed in recent years and while the new measures recently signed by President Trump in an executive order, could help some people get insulin for less money, it could take some time before the new rules take effect.

In the meantime, Consumer Reports explains what diabetics can do right now to get the lowest possible price on their insulin.

Anne Dina, has been managing her type one diabetes on her own since she was 10 years old.

"Both of my parents are blind, so when I was diagnosed at 10 years old, pretty much all of the care fell solely on myself," Dina said.

Since moving out of her parents' home and no longer on their health insurance, Anne has found it difficult to afford her insulin.

"My insulin usually runs anywhere between two to four-hundred a month," Dina said. "I have had to ration my insulin before because of the expenses of it."

Anne is not alone, since 2014, some commonly prescribed insulins have experienced huge price hikes. But there's good news: Consumer Reports investigative reporter, Lisa Gill says, there are ways to find affordable insulin.

"If you're insured and have a high deductible plan, new federal rules might mean that you just pay a low copay and not the full amount," Gill said. "For example, if you're insured by Cigna, you could get insulin for just 25-dollars. Check with your insurer."

If your insurance company has not yet set low or zero copays, or if you don't have insurance, consider an authorized generic insulin.

"Some companies have an 'authorized generic,' that is cheaper. Eli Lilly's authorized generic version of Humalog, called insulin lispro is half the price at just $150 per-month," Gill said.

And if you have to stick with a branded insulin, there are some lower-cost options now available.

You could also consider human insulin. Novo Nordisk's human insulin is available at certain pharmacies for about 25-dollars, depending on your insurance status and plan. If you don't have insurance, see if the insulin manufacturer has a patient assistance program where you could get it for free, if you qualify.

Anne has since found a job with health insurance that now pays for her insulin. But she feels the system needs to be fixed.

"It's not a disease that we could really help or that we really asked for, so to have to pay these outrageous prices is just crazy," Dina said.

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