Why Insulin Coupons & CoPay Caps Aren’t Good Enough was reported by Ginger Vieira for InsulinNation.com, 28 May 2020. Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, and Eli Lilly reacted to insulin pricing outrage with modest and self-serving PR programs that do little; CMS is looming
Despite several years of activism, debate, and protesting, the biggest pharmaceutical manufacturers of insulin — Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, and Sanofi — have still not lowered the list price of insulin. Worse, the latest round of “insulin copay price caps” they have unveiled actually benefit these corporations financially. The price of insulin in the United States has sky-rocketed more than 1000 percent since the late 1990s. Until recently, there has been no substantial action taken by the U.S. government to put an end to this price gouging.
Research from the University of Pittsburgh provided evidence that the net price of insulin in the United States had also soared – by 51% between 2008-2017. This is the price received by Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, and Sanofi.
One vial of insulin costs a few dollars to produce, yet costs $320 for a patient in the United States and only $30 for a patient in Canada, explained Marina Tsaplina and Nicole Smith-Holt, both fervent advocates behind the #insulin4all initiative.
“The three insulin manufacturers have raised their prices in lockstep for many years now, prompting a class-action lawsuit and criminal investigations into collusion,” wrote Smith-Holt in her 2018 article for TruthOut. “Additionally, the insurance industry is also complicit in the drug pricing scheme.”
The Institute for New Economic Thinking published a report in April saying ‘Contrary to pharmaceutical company claims, revenue from high insulin prices are going to shareholders, not R&D.’
On May 26, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a Senior Savings Model in which insulin copays will be capped at $35/month beginning in 2021.
Long term differences in blood glucose control between adults using multiple daily injections vs insulin pumps was reported on Medivizor.com, 29 December 2020.
This study wanted to find out if people with type 1 diabetes who use insulin pumps have fewer changes in their blood glucose control than those who use multiple daily injections. The study found that the patients who used insulin pumps had fewer changes in blood glucose control than those on multiple daily injections.
Student Invention Aims to Improve Control for Diabetics on MDI was reported by Sara Seitz for InsulinNation.com, 26 May 2020. Steady Shot, a small plastic device that attaches to pen needles, makes site rotation easier for diabetics on multiple daily injections.
Attaching Steady Shot, a small U-shaped plastic device, to the end of an insulin pen allows the user to easily inject with a single hand. And in doing so, it opens up a number of new injection sites to the user. It is estimated that about 65% of insulin users suffer from lipohypertrophy. While this condition is reversible if the affected area is given enough time to heal, this can be difficult to accomplish for many people with diabetes who have limited choices of where to inject.
Shawn Michel was a student at UW-Madison when he was given the task of inventing a new product in one of his entrepreneurial classes. The teacher asked the students to focus on solving a problem that was unique to their own lives. As someone who has been living with diabetes since the age of sixteen, Michel immediately looked to his own daily struggles for inspiration. It didn’t take long for him to come up with the first prototype for a device he hoped might help him and others avoid the painful and aggravating side effects of lipohypertrophy.
His invention showed such promise that it got him accepted into the Discovery to Product program at the University. Here, Michel received mentorships and help in developing Steady Shot into a marketable product. By allowing the user to inject insulin with just one hand, Steady Shot enables diabetics to inject in areas that were previously impossible to reach such as the back of the arms, the lower back, and the buttocks.
The U-shaped plastic device acts as a second hand by gently pushing the fatty layer up as the needle inserts, similar to the way you would pinch the skin yourself when injecting.
Not only is Steady Shot helpful, but it is also intuitive and easy to use. You simply slide the device over the top of your pen needle, inject, and then remove the device before recapping and removing the used pen needle.
Steady Shot is now available for purchase on the product’s webpage, mysteadyshot.com. ($19.95, comes with 4 depths, from 4mm to 8mm)