BY KATIE THOMAS: Consumers whose drug benefits are managed by Express Scripts could see their out-of-pocket costs for insulin limited to $25 a month under a plan announced on Wednesday.
The move is aimed at addressing rising anger over the cost of the lifesaving product, whose list price has skyrocketed in recent years. Express Scripts said about 700,000 people filed a claim for insulin last year through its Cigna or Express Scripts plans. The average monthly savings for those whose employers opted into the plan would be about $16 a month. (read more)
BY ELLIE KINCAID & MICHELA TINDERA: From the day he founded the diabetes-care startup Virta Health, Sami Inkinen didn’t want to make money the way most healthcare providers did, with standard fees for services. He came from the tech sector as a cofounder of the real estate listing website Trulia, and he wanted to get paid only on commission, for delivering results and making people healthier.
San Francisco-based Virta, which provides type 2 diabetes patients with coaching and tracking, announced a new payment model for its institutional customers in November. These health insurers and self-insured employers would pay only for the patients who keep using its program and improve. It’s a business model that bakes into the bottom line helping diabetic patients lower their blood sugar and become less dependent on taking expensive insulin. (read more)
BY VIK ADHOPIA: People with Type 1 diabetes in Canada who were nervously watching insulin prices double over just a few years in the U.S. have reason to be concerned about rising insulin costs at home.
Public insurance programs provided by provincial and federal governments paid an average of $967 annually on insulin for people with Type 1 diabetes last year. That’s 33 per cent more than in 2011 ($725).
The figures compiled for Second Opinion by a federal drug price watchdog, the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, refer strictly to people who have public insurance coverage such as seniors and some children, as well as people with low income.
For those who neither benefit from governments’ ability to negotiate lower drug prices nor have private supplementary health insurance, paying nearly $1,000 a year on insulin is a bargain. (read more)
BY BENEDICT JEPHCOTE: Patients on medication for Type 2 diabetes may be keeping Alzheimer’s disease away.
University of Southern California Dornsife psychologists found that those patients with untreated diabetes developed signs of Alzheimer’s disease 1.6 times faster than people who did not have diabetes.
BY DON RAUF: When it comes to getting treatment for type 2 diabetes, women may have much more of an uphill battle compared with men.
A review of 21 scientific studies from around the world, published in March 2019 in the Indian Journal of Public Health, observed that women deal with many more types of care-related obstacles. These include personal, economic, psychological, and health system–based barriers.
Six of seven investigations that specifically looked at gender differences (about 86 percent) showed that women faced more challenges when it came to methods of diagnosis, medicines prescribed, investigations done, hospitalizations, and visits to specialists. (read more)