I live in Philippines and buy my Humalog (made by Lilly) OTC from the chemist at US$18/cartridge equivalent.
Mind you, at this price and with most people having no insurance it is already costing more than 2 days of basic wages, which explains why many diabetics here don't take meds and die early of complications.
I am sure Lilly and the drug store are all making their profit. This means there is some really exorbitant marking up going on in the US.
I WISH I could use another brand of insulin! To date, Humalog is the ONLY insulin I do not have an anaphylactic allergy to. My insurance keeps telling me that Humalog is not on their 'preferred drug list', but I can't take any other! My medicine copays are $450 a month, not including doctor visit copays.
Hi ThunderOwl. It is my understanding that if your doctor writes to your insurance company that you have a special need, that the insurance company will give you a break. It's worth a try.
I thought that the patent for Humalog expired this year. Doesn't this mean that we should be seeing a generic version soon?
This information below came from here. I find they generally have solid information about availability of generics.
There are at least two major obstacles preventing generic Humalog from becoming available. First, Humalog is considered a "biologic" medication and is under different rules and laws than most other medications. At this point, generic biologics, including generic Humalog, are not allowed to be manufactured in the United States. Currently, legislation is under way that may change the laws concerning generic biologics (including insulin), but it is not clear when (or even if) this may happen.
Second, Humalog is protected by unexpired patents, the first of which is currently set to expire in May 2013. Even if the laws change and allow generic versions of insulins, generic Humalog would not be expected to become available until 2013 at the earliest.
Actually, I don't know if this legal situation is any longer true. Several insulins (insulins aspart, glargine, and lispro) are coming off patent and the FDA has apparently made clear a position which opens the door for "biosimilar" products. Pfizer has entered into an agreement with an Indian firm which produces a formulation of glargine (Lantus).
"Opens the door" sounds like code for "it will be a long legal battle unless the companies themselves decide to do what is right"
I would be VERY suprised if we even heard wind of "generic" analogs until well after Humalog loses it's legal patent protection. These companies do not have a newer analog coming out. They will fight tooth and nail to keep it non-generic in the States. Our only hope is that the people "working for us" (e.g. congress)do actually sign legislation forcing the companies to do so. Even then I see a whole lot of foot dragging.
Well, I am just saying that the rules have changed since then (the quote was from 2008), particularly as they relate to biosimilar products. And my point was that Pfizer (which flopped with Exhubera) has made a move to secure a source of biosimilar insulin by investing in Biocon. You are no doubt right that there are still many battles ahead, but Pfizer is no naive small potatoes in the drug game.
Yeah I agree. I actually dug for quite a while on the FDA website and although what I found was only a draft it really suprised me. They consider bioequivalence (same as the regular drug) if it's action provile is 80-125% of Area Under the Curve (definition of AUC- The amount of a therapeutic agent that is present in the circulation in a determined time period). Don't know about you but that dosen't sound "equivalent" to me- in fact like you synthroid story, many people have stories of obvious unequivalence. I have no idea if "biologicals" have tighter restrictions or not but it doesn't give me much hope that the FDA has their ducks in a row. Can you imagine the mess it would cause if the generic Humalog you got sometimes had an action profile 80% as effective as usual all the way up to 125% as effective as usual? Talk about adding another "layer" to diabetes.......
This is a long shot but have you thought of going to social services and appling for medical assistance and going to a free clinic. Free Clinics are usually for people who have no insurance / little income.