Cost of Omnipod PDM in Canada vs US

Aside from market size, would anyone know why a PDM costs about $300 in the States but $6300 (yes, you read that right) in Canada?

Hard to believe. Are you sure this is the real price? Have you called Insulet offices in Canada?

When I talked to the distributor for Insulet here, the quotes he gave me were 300% over the real ones. The “retail” numbers were ridiculous. Then I asked for the negotiated prices and got the real costs.

Yes, this is the figure I was given by the Insulet account rep. I was told there was a one-time free replacement during the five-year warranty if the PDM was lost or stolen, after that it was $6300. I keep seeing $300 quoted by Americans here, so just wondered.

I’m not Canadian, so I can’t say for sure, but my understanding is that because there is a government assistance program, the higher cost for the PDM is done that way because Insulet knows the Assisted Devices Program will pay for part of it. So they are able to charge more. I don’t know if they need to do that to qualify for the program, or what. But I think the reason they do it is just because they know they will get the money from the ADP.

Insulet does not actually send to Canada, they send to a 3rd part distributor (I think maybe GlaxoSmithKline) who then works with the Canadian market.

But I can say that if you get OmniPod and need to call support and need help with a Pod, they don’t ever ask where you bought the PDM. And they will only ask for the PDM serial number if you are having a PDM problem, not if you are having a Pod problem. So if you are able to get a PDM in the U.S., it’s possible you can use it with no problem, and nobody needs to know where you got it.

There are a few Canadian members here. Hopefully they will see this and give possible solutions.

If you want, you can move in with me, get the $300 price, and then move back to Canada. :wink: All you need to get it is a U.S. doctor, a prescription from the U.S. doctor, and a U.S. address. I got room in my basement! It’s warm here, too!

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There are a lot of people in Portland, OR right now that would like a warm place to stay!

Well, you are actually much closer than I am. Why don’t you help our new friend from the north - Beacher - out with a place to stay for a few days?!

is it possible that he could have made a mistake? Or that he would have included a year’s worth of supplies? This seems so crazy.

No, this is really how it works! If the Assisted Devices Program is going to always pay X dollars for a device, then of course the price will go up by X dollars. At least that’s the way GlaxoSmithKline sees it. :frowning:

Not a mistake. I looked into the omnipod a couple of years ago. I was quoted $6300 for just the PDM and more fees for pods etc.

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Yes that is the cost here in Canada. Most provinces do not cover insulin pumps. Here in Manitoba, pumps are covered for children, no coverage for adults and a lot of the work insurances will not cover a pump because the provincial health doesn’t cover them. Then it is $900.00 every three months for the pods. In Manitoba insulin pump supplies are covered as a pharmacy benefit for both children and adults after the families provincial deductible is met.

ADP is just in one province, though (Ontario). The majority of provinces do not cover pumps. I’m disappointed to hear it’s so expensive. My work insurance only covers one pump per lifetime, so I was hoping to be able to use the OmniPod as a cheaper alternative if I ever had to pay for me own. :slight_frown:

I’ll clear out some room in the basement and you can all move down! :slight_smile:

I checked, and you don’t need to be a U.S. citizen for the $300 price, just have a U.S. doctor who writes the prescription, and a U.S. address. :+1:

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The one major disadvantage would be that the units of measurement are probably locked. But that’s not worth $6,000…

I am Canadian and have been considering pumping. My insurance covers it, but when I heard the price I felt guilty about having my insurance pay that much for the PDM. Also, I am waiting for one of these newfangled closed loop pumps to come out.

Had the PDM been $300 I would probably be using an Omnipod right now. They do offer a 90 day trail though but…

Well, I will gladly invite any of our neighbors up North to come and stay here for a few days to get an Omnipod PDM:-) Although I am afraid it won’t be much warmer… Rural Wisconsin, we have 1.5 feet of snow in my little valley here.

I asked Insulet Canada the same question last year (from British Columbia). The response -

" the Starter Kit is $6,300.00. This includes your PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager), box of Freestyle test strips, Lancet, software and cable, carrying case and gel skin. Our PDM also comes with a 5 year warranty. "

No response to the question of why so much more.I assumed that since the other three options cost $7K, they figure they can charge the same. Is it really only $300 in the US?

It’s officially $500 but it seems possible to get it for $300.

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My iPhone can do way more than my insulin pump ever will. It was a couple hundred bucks. Why insurance can get away with slapping a pricetag of thousands of dollars onto a device that doesn’t do as much as my iPhone, merely because they feel like it, is disgusting. If more pumps came on the market and were affordably priced, we wouldn’t need insurance. Oh well. Back to dreaming in colour.

Well, the lancet makes it a good deal! :rolling_eyes:

I am really sorry to my brothers and sisters in Canada. But please feel free to come on down!


You may also want to ensure you have a keytone test kit as well as the omnipod just in case your bg levels are high.