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Humalog Insulin - Where to get it?

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#1
umgrad07

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Hi Everyone,

I've been a diabetic for 11 1/2 years. I currently have a job but since I'm a contract employee, I don't get health benefits. I'm starting to run low on humalog insulin and I'm wondering where I can go and buy it. I currently have a prescription for it but since I don't have insurance so it's not cheap. I called Walgreens earlier and for a month's supply (using a pharmacy discount card), it comes out to $442. That would be for 3 vials. For just one vial, it comes out to $142.

Does anyone have any advice? I want to apply for the Lilly Cares Assistance program (and I qualify) but I have to get a doctor's signature on one form and since I don't have insurance, I don't have a doctor that will treat me so that route doesn't quite work.

I need to get insulin within the next couple of days or I'm going to seriously be in trouble. If worse comes to worse, I can buy one vial out of pocket but I'm trying not to go that route since I'm trying to save money. However if I do go that route, does anyone have any advice on what I should do? I plan to call around to the local pharmacies and see how much a vial costs.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You,

KJ

#2
Maddies Granny

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Check out if there is a local clinic that you could use. You may still need to buy the insulin out of pocket, till you can get in. Thats what I did. I bought mine at Walmart, and it was $138. Once I got into the clinic I was given some free samples and also references to local charities that were able to help me out till I got package from Patient Assistant Program. The Patient Assistant Program takes about 4-6 weeks. They can also help you out with supplies.

The clinic I use charges on a sliding scale. I pay $15 for the doctor appointment, but I have to pay extra (a nominal charge) for all tests.

I hope you can find a clinc, it sure is scary to think of running out of insulin.
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#3
Scratch

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You really need to explore and see if you can obtain insurance coverage. Since you're in Maryland, you might try MHIP or PCIP. MHIP is Maryland insurance pool for high-risk individuals who can't obtain affordable insurance on their own. PCIP is a program being implemented with Obama's ACA and will provide coverage to diabetics who have been without insurance for more than 6 months.

Through the Affordable Care Act, uninsured people with diabetes who have been continually uninsured for six months or more will be able to access insurance through a new program called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP). PCIP, which is administered by either your state or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will be available until the provisions banning discrimination based on pre-existing conditions are fully implemented in 2014.

PCIP will be available in every state, but the program may vary depending on the state. Currently, many states run programs, often called “high risk pools,” to offer insurance for those with pre-existing conditions. To build on what states are already doing, states can either run a new program with resources from the Affordable Care Act or rely on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide coverage. Please check out the State Plans page to learn more about how PCIP works in your state. http://www.pcip.gov/StatePlans.html


See the link in the quote to find out more about Maryland's version of PCIP.

Now, without insurance, one option you can consider while uninsured is to use the old R insulin for a fast-acting. R isn't as fast as humalog, it can take 6 to 8 hours versus the 4 of humalog, but it is available without prescription and OTC and is much cheaper than Novlog, Humalog, or Apidra.
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#4
poodlebone

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Hi Everyone,
I've been a diabetic for 11 1/2 years. I currently have a job but since I'm a contract employee, I don't get health benefits. I'm starting to run low on humalog insulin and I'm wondering where I can go and buy it. I currently have a prescription for it but since I don't have insurance so it's not cheap. I called Walgreens earlier and for a month's supply (using a pharmacy discount card), it comes out to $442. That would be for 3 vials. For just one vial, it comes out to $142.


I just want to point out that Walgreens wants to charge you more for buying 3 vials at once! $142 x 3 = $426. Wonder what the extra $16 is for?

I know some people on these forums have gotten their insulin from Canada. You might be able to find links if you search old messages.

Can you call around and find a doctor who will see you as a cash patient, hopefully charging a reasonable rate, so that you can fill out the forms from Lilly? I've heard of some doctors who will charge cash customers less than what they bill isnurance because they don't have to worry about paperwork and waiting to be reimbursed. The cost of the doctor visit should be offset by the money you'd have to pay for insulin at full price.
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Liz
Type 1 dx 4/1987
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Last A1c: 7/10: 5.4

#5
notme

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Why not go back to the doctor that wrote the Rx and leave the form for a signature. Long term, this is the best solution. Short term, buy one vial until it gets signed.
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#6
umgrad07

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@notme: Unfortunately, I don't see the doctor that I originally got my prescription from. He was treating me for something else. And it's a 2-hour drive to his doctor's office.

@poodlebone: The $442 is not the exact price. And actually, at $142, they have the second cheapest price for 1 vial. The cheapest was K-Mart at $140. I will do a search for endocrinologists in the area to see if I can set up something.

Thanks to all of you for your advice.

#7
zazu

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Just wanted to second Scratch's post regarding Humalin R that you can get at Walmart. I was much surprised that I was in much better control when I used Regular over Humalog. Might be worth trying until you find a solution. Can't argue with the price either - about $25.

#8
umgrad07

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Thank you for all the advice. I went ahead and bit the bullet and picked up a bottle of Humalog today. The pharmacist was able to give me a small discount and I ended up paying $136 for a vial. I'm definitely going to look into buying the Humulin R insulin as well. I used it back when I was first diagnosed.

Hopefully this week, I can call around and see if I can find a doctor who will see me and accept a cash payment so that I can get the paperwork completed for the Lilly Cares program.

I'm looking into MHIP and PCIP as well. I've only been in Maryland since November so by May, I should be able to look into becoming a resident (although I'm looking to move into DC later in the year so that might not work). And I've only been off insurance since November as well so I should be able to apply for the PCIP program as well come May.

Thank you again for all your help.




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