February 21, 2019 – Speaking Up


Anchor lead: What can patients who need insulin do when it comes to pricing? Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you’re a person who takes insulin for diabetes and you can’t afford your medication, tell your healthcare provider. That’s the advice of Rita Kalyani, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, who says that while Congress is wrestling with out of sight insulin prices, you and your doctor can work together to craft a solution that works for you.

Kalyani:  What this has really brought to mind for me as a healthcare provider is that when I see patients in clinic to really think about the cost of the therapies that we’re prescribing. To look at the insurance coverage that they have and to ask patients if they’re having any difficulty filling their prescriptions. We take it for granted that when we write a prescription patients will be able to fill it but that might not be the case and we do have other options for patients that can’t do that. There are many low cost options.  :26

Kalyani says older insulins may not offer the convenience of the newer types but are substantially less expensive. She notes that a slight rise in blood sugar may occur when a switch is made but then it normalizes. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.