Apidra Shortage?

So, I went to fill my Apidra prescription the other day and was told that the pharmacy is having trouble getting it because there is a manufacturing shortage? It's just for the vials, not the pens, from what I understand. I went to another pharmacy just to check, and they said they were having the same problem getting it too. Anyone have any insight on this or know what's going on or how long I can expect to not be able to get it?


I recently got an e-mail from Apidra saying the shortage was now over; but maybe the pharmacies have not caught up yet. Here is Apidra's website. Be sure to register for the "No co-pay" program - free insulin!


Thanks for the info! And how does that card work? It seems a little too good to be true? Do I just register, print it off and take it to my pharmacist?

That's exactly what I thought - too good to be true! But it works! I forget exactly how many times you can do it, but it's up to $100 for a one or three month supply. Yes, I believe that is correct, just follow the directions and then take it to the pharmacy. I live in a very small town and was expecting the pharmacy to say "what the heck is this?" but apparently they'd seen it or something like it before and just gave me my insulin - no charge! The e-mail I got from Apidra said they were renewing the program for 2013. If you have any issues just call them, they're very helpful. (I called them because I ended up having two numbers at once and needed to straighten that out)

Here's what the e-mail said:

Apidra® SoloSTAR® pens are back in full supply—
and we're expanding our No Co-Pay* offer, too!

Dear Patient,
Great news – The Apidra® SoloSTAR® (insulin glulisine [rDNA origin] injection) pen is back! After a temporary shortage, there is now a normal supply of Apidra SoloSTAR pens. Tell your pharmacist to order your Apidra SoloSTAR today!

We are also excited to announce the continuation of the Apidra No Co-Pay* savings program. With the Apidra No Co-Pay* Savings Card, you will enjoy savings for all of 2013 on both Apidra vials and Apidra SoloSTAR pens.

For additional details about the savings program, please visit www.Apidra.com or contact us at 1-855-242-6938.

We look forward to continuing to serve you with the easy-to-use Apidra SoloSTAR pen.

About a year ago there was a shortage on Apidra pen cartridges, but not vials. Now it's the other way around? I don't think it's very professional for a company to have a shortage of something like insulin! The shortage on pen cartridges lasted over six months and I was on the verge of switching insulin brands (even though Apidra seems to work best for me) because I thought it was just ridiculous.

My understanding was the shortage was just on the pens, not the vials. I think that's probably why they started the "no co-pay" program - to recharge their customer reputation - works for me; though I have to say if I was using the pens I would have been very frustrated too.

That's what I thought too! But I'm having trouble getting the vials now. Ugh. Hopefully it won't last 6 months! I don't want to have to switch to Humalog or something.

That's odd, Erin, since Apidra just sent me the notice I copied above in the last week or so! Are you sure it isn't just your pharmacy? I would contact Apidra themselves to see if they know anything about this.

So, I checked with my pharmacy and then another pharmacy chain in the area, and they are both having trouble getting Apidra vials. Both of them told me it's on a "manufacturer's back order". I'm not sure what that means, but I guess the pharmacy doesn't have any control over that. Maybe it's just an issue in my area or something? Also, thanks for the tip about that "no-pay" copay! Amazing!

Interesting! I just called in a prescription refill for Apidra. In an e-mail from the pharmacy, I was told that I had a partial order ready. I called the pharmacy, and they said they had only one bottle for me, not the two that I had ordered. I didn't know that I had ordered two.

After reading this posting, I called the pharmacy, and asked the pharmacist about a rumored Apidra shortage. She said that they have several customers who use it and hadn't had trouble keeping it in stock.

I'll be getting the second bottle, just to be safe. Thank you for the heads up!

I probably could spare a vial, if you need it.

Thanks! I'm all set for now, I just placed my order ahead of time like I normally do, and they said they were having trouble getting it in. Weird. Hopefully it's just in my area and just a short-term distribution problem or something. Thanks for offering, though!

Thanks for the info, Zoe. I wonder if I somehow ended up on the no co-pay program without applying for it because I haven't had an Apidra vial co-pay for months. I just assumed my insurance coverage changed since they don't send notices of changes. My strips went up quite a bit without notification & then Apidra was essentially free.

In total agreement with Zoe - I haven't paid for insulin in months. I really think I started this in late 2011. Problem is, I don't know when it will end which affects how much I sock away in an FSA for the year. I'm counting on having no insulin costs for all of 2013.

Yes, Apidra says it will last for all of 2013. Kimberly, have you been able to use it every three months?

Gerri, as far as I know you have to sign on and then get a number from Apidra to present to the pharmacy so maybe your insurance just went down, but down to nothing is pretty cool!

I refill every month (although not really, as I only need about 1 vial of insulin a month but my script is for 2), and haven't paid since I started. The pharm techs are always shocked that I never have a co-pay on insulin.

Wow, cool. I thought there was some kind of limit on how often you can use it. Do you have to go to the website and get a new number each time? Actually now that I remember, I think the limit is up to $100 every three months can be waived. So if your copay is less than $33 every month I guess that would work. I went to their website but you can't access information about how it works until you register. I registered in October, but just gave the number to the pharmacy so guess I have to register again.

I only registered once. I honestly have no idea how it works. All I know is that I am not paying for insulin and I refuse to dig deeper into it for fear of losing this lovely benefit.

Oh, I understand! I've switched from my local CVS to my mail service Caremark, so I'm just going to contact Caremark and see if they have the code or else I'll just register again. When I spoke to Animas a couple months ago they told me the program was going to be extended into 2013.

I just filled my first rx for Apidra pens through Walgreen's mail order service. They had no shortage and accepted the no-co-pay coupon with no questions at all. So free insulin until December of 2013. I was very happy about that.

I hope the Apidra works out well for you. I really like it and have had no problems with using it.