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Increasing Insulin Prices – Role of Pharmacists in Assisting Patients with Diabetes to Enhance Access

Volume 8 - Issue 2

Hyma P Gogineni1*and Revant V Gogineni2

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    • 1Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, University of Health Sciences, USA
    • 2BS Candidate major in Physiology & Neurology 2018, USCD, USA

    *Corresponding author: Hyma P Gogineni, Pharm D, Assistant Professor, BPS Ambulatory Care Speciality Council Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, Western University of Health Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Pomona, USA

Received: August 14, 2018;   Published: August 23, 2018

DOI: 10.26717/BJSTR.2018.08.001633

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Insulin access has been challenging for many patients as the insulin price has been nearly tripled between 2002 to 2013. The ADA released a white paper on insulin access and affordability and the authors concluded that there is a lack of transparency in the insulin supply chain and patients with diabetes are financially harmed with increasing insulin prices and prescribing patterns favored more expensive insulin analogs. The ADA recommended healthcare providers including pharmacists should educate patients about the cost of insulin, pros, cons and its financial implications. Pharmacists are uniquely situated in community, ambulatory care and institutional settings to guide patients and other healthcare providers on various resources available for patients with diabetes to obtain insulin at no cost to reduced cost based on patient’s health plan, income level and Medicare Part D coverage gap and uninsured patients.

Majority of these resources are web-based and available for both patients and other healthcare providers by a click of a button. Educating patients with diabetes about various options to obtain insulin with the lowest price possible is only a short-term solution. Pharmacists need to be part of the long-term solution as it relies on multiple approaches including call for increase transparency in the insulin supply chain, conducting clinical research comparing human insulin vs insulin analogs and being part of the legislative changes.

Keywords: Insulin; Cost; Pharmacists; Patient Assistance Programs; Prescription Savings; Copay Cards

Abstract | Introduction | Discussion | Conclusion | Recommendations | Conclusion | References |