What a racket!

Posted: November 13, 2012 in diabetes, Doctors and Dentists and Nurses... oh my!, Novo Nordisk, The Beetus, Travel

In the big news, I decided to try a new method of insulin delivery. I had read of the flex pens and the ease of injections and the like. I also saw there was a $50 coupon. I had no idea how much they would cost, but I assumed it would be in the neighborhood of what I currently pay. For the record, the price on a vial of insulin, which lasts about a month, is about $37, once the insurance deductible is satisfied.

Anyway, I contacted my healthcare provider’s office and requested a scrip for the flex pens. The insulin brands I use are from Novo Nordisk, a Danish company that concentrates its business in diabetes care, and they offer the pens in both flavors of insulin that I use. My primary insulin is called Novolog. I take three shots a day with meals. My other insulin is a longer-acting variety called Levemir that I take at bedtime. Basically, I go through 4 syringes a day as well as multiple sticks to test my glucose. I really am a human pincushion.

Getting back to the pens, I read how this is an easier method of injection, and was thinking ahead to travel. Touring Disney parks while toting insulin vials and syringes is a pain in the ass, not to mention the hassle of getting a slightly unfrozen ice pack through airport security. I realize that the vials, once opened, do not need refrigeration per se, they just need to be kept under 86 degrees. That can be a challenge in the Florida heat, as you can imagine. I knew the pens had the same refrigeration standards, but offered durability and less prep work to use, so why not?

The office called in the prescription to the local CVS and I got the call that the pens were ready for pickup. I dutifully took my $50 coupon to the pharmacy, handed it over, and was greeted with the news that my total (which I figured would be around $100-$120 was in fact $255.26. AFTER the coupon!

Yikes.

It just makes you wonder how the price would be that much higher for the same drug in the same proportion. I was too flabbergasted to contact the insurance about it last night, but I think I’m going to look into this. That’s unconscionable, in my opinion. I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, after trying it, I think the vial and syringe method is actually less painful. Go figure. Pay more and it winds up hurting in more ways than one. Sigh.

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