I think it is important to remember how expensive the basics cost if you lost coverage tomorrow. When I lost my job, of about 10 years at a teaching hospital, I had no idea how expensive supplies had become in such a short period of time. In my state the rapid acting insulin analogs sell for up to #$130/10ml vial in Walgreens/Target/Kmart pharmacies. I get it at a little “rouge” family operated pharmacy for $98/vial. If you do not know how much you would pay off insurance…ask…you will be shocked! Now add the cost of your other medicines and pump supplies!
I am not sure exactly of local pricing. But I know my wife keeps the job she has for fear of the $1000 a month for my meds/supplies, $600 for hers and $200 for the kids. We would love for her to find a different job but her insurance is the best. It is a hard thing to walk away from.
I live in Hungary and I am covered by national insurance. So I do not have any risk of losing my insurance.
I pay $1.50 per month for my insulin (Humalog in penfill vials). But I see that the full price for the insulin (i.e. what is paid by the national insurance) is around $43 for 5 penfills (which is 15ml).
I wonder how the same insulin can cost SO much more in the USA???
I recently paid $150 for a bottle of Humalog in NYC…
It is a common practice to charge more in the US. Some drugs we pay $10 a pill for are offered in other parts of the world for as little as $10 for the bottle. We pay more, in part to support research, the FDA, and because they get away with it. This is why many go to Canada or Mexico to buy prescriptions.
Capitalism at work! The market price is what the market will pay. Lantus $70.00 in funny money for 1000 vial here in Siberia.
Yes, but I thought that much of the reason that meds were cheaper in Canada is because the prices were government subsidized. Maybe it’s rather government regulated.
I wonder how much it costs private insurance companies to buy a vial of insulin in the USA.
I would guess goverment regulated as part of national health care.
My Humalog cost my insurance company $90.13/vial. I believe it has a retail of about $140/vial.
I have often wondered this myself Kristin! It’s insane over here!
My one month supply of Novolog would cost me $298.
One month supply for 300 test strips would cost me $394
Life support should not cost that much.
I do not have insurance and the last bottle of Apridra(SP) cost me 76.00, less the $20 coupon and I have a Walgrens card so that saved me another 20.00. If no coupons or card it would cost me $136.00 a vial. It lasts just over 2 weeks on the pump.
I would agree…I don’t think it is so much subsidized but, regulated. The reason they can charge us so much here in US is that it is the ultimate free market system.
most insurance companies pay a lot less than the asking price, i am unsure of the exact reduction, but say it is 1/3, then the manufacturer has to charge 3 times what the value is to get the value out of the insurance. the uninsured are the ones that get stuck. my father always said “we do not have a medical emergency in this country, we have a legal one” i am seeing that is so correct. the insurance companies drive the price through the roof. doctors have to pay huge for malpractice insurance, i know that it is at times necessary, but often it is frivolous… it is a terrible price to pay.
I do not have insurance and am wiping out my savings to stay alive but just to give you some figures I pay $127 for a 10ml vial of lantus that lasts me a little over 3 days so it’s approximately 10 vials a month. Then I use novolin, only because walmart has their brand of it and it runs $28 for a 10ml vial and that’s what I use at meals. It lasts approximately a week. I use the one touch ultra and use around 300 strips per month and I order those online for $56 per hundred. Oh and then $13 for a box of syringes. So, all total I spend $1500 per month and that’s just normal. I was fired from my job when I got sick and now if I was to get health insurance at work it wouldn’t cover anything diabetes related for a year. It’s going to be a long year! LOL
There are patient assistant programs available through most of the insulin companies
Check out this page for most of the links.
Another member of TuDiabetes recently posted about receiving a year’s supply of Lantus.
Another program that you should check out is ipump.org
The drugs are not cheaper in Canada. We do have public health care, but things like prescription drugs, medical supplies, eye exams/glasses, dental services.
It looks like it costs $43.28 for 5 vials of Toronto insulin (which I think is also called "regular insulin). 200 test strips cost $149. My insurance pays 80% of that.
This is a scary question Patricia. Part of what makes it so nerve-wracking is that most of us are insured through our employers. If for some reason we would ever find ourselves out of a job, it would be a perfect storm of loss of income plus loss of insurance. Sure, we have COBRA, but that’s hardly better than cash for ongoing expenses.
I’m convinced that if I lost my insurance I would have to go off of the pump. I might be able to swing the price of insulin out-of-pocket, but not the added cost of pump supplies.
its called capitalism. Seriously the markup on any medical supply/procedure is incredible. I went to the ER one time thinking I was having a heart attack. Turns out to be a side effect of my wondeful diabetic meds. So the bill totalled 14,000 and after adjustments to the insurance company it was like 3000 dollars. So I just think here since people are willing to pay or forced to pay the higher cost they will charge more.
Kelly, I did not have insurance coverage for my insulin when I live in the USA. One vial (10mL) cost me $90 in the USA. When I went to visit my grandparents in Ontario, the same bottle cost around $30.
Not sure if the price vary by province, but it was a lot cheaper in Ontario than in Detroit!
My Humalog Kwikpen is $174.99 here (5 pens/ one month). My blood strips are a little over $200 (200 strips) for one month supply. Needles are slightly over $6 per bag (not much). I don’t know what Levemir Kwikpen is, but it’s right around where Humalog is.