Diabetes nonprofit launches new insulin access navigation tool
The diabetes nonprofit organization Beyond Type 1 has launched a website designed to help people with diabetes navigate the “patchwork” of insulin affordability and access solutions that exist in the United States.
The website, GetInsulin.org, will match people with diabetes who are prescribed insulin with patient assistance programs or low-cost insulin solutions that meet their unique situation. Users must first complete a brief questionnaire.
“The job losses we’ve seen during COVID-19 mean that many individuals who lost their employer-based health insurance due to COVID-19 are experiencing insulin access issues for the first time in their lives,” Christel Marchand Aprigliano, chief advocacy officer for Beyond Type 1, told Healio. “List prices for insulin are high, so a sudden insurance loss may leave an individual facing a high price tag at the pharmacy counter. GetInsulin.org helps connect people to the assistance options out there if they find themself in this position.”
The GetInsulin.org site is designed to guide users to the assistance programs or resources that are the most likely to be able to help them access insulin. The site does not store any of the data input by users. The data — location, brand of medication and insurance status — are used to match the user to the assistance that meets their needs. The information is available in English and Spanish to anyone in the U.S., including those who are not U.S. citizens, according to the site.
“Here in the United States, there are a lot of different options and programs out there that can help — there is just no easy way to find out exactly what you qualify for and how to jump through all the hoops,” Aprigliano said. “Beyond Type 1, in partnership with several other organizations and manufacturers, created GetInsulin.org to change that and to connect people to custom solutions to get the insulin they need to stay alive right now.”
Getinsulin.org is not a direct assistance program; Beyond Type 1 and other organizational partners do not manage the programs included in customized “action plans” directly.
Aprigliano said the impact of COVID-19 goes beyond insurance access. Individuals may also find themself in a position where they need insulin, cannot afford an in-office or telehealth visit with their health care provider, and do not know what their options are.
“Many of these issues existed before the pandemic, but are certainly being faced in greater numbers now,” Aprigliano said. “GetInsulin.org gets tailored information to those who may be at risk for rationing insulin due to cost.”
GetInsulin.org is supported by a coalition of partners helping connect those in need to lower-cost insulin now, including the American Diabetes Association, the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists, the Endocrine Society, Feeding America, JDRF, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the NAACP, and the National Hispanic Medical Association. GetInsulin.org is funded by Lilly, Mylan, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi.
As Healio previously reported, a recent report in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed that analogue insulins are the most commonly advertised prescription drugs on the online classified ad website Craigslist, with the drugs being offered at a fraction of their retail price. The unregulated sale and purchase of prescription medication is prohibited by law and Craigslist policy, yet the review by researchers revealed more than 300 ads for insulin products during a 12-day period in June 2019. Insulin prices have nearly doubled between 2012 and 2016, according to 2017 data from the Health Care Cost Institute.
“The American Diabetes Association is honored to partner with Beyond Type 1 and the coalition of organizations committed to raising awareness of GetInsulin.org, a critical tool for people who need insulin right now,” Tracey D. Brown, CEO of the ADA, said in a press release. “We need to both connect people to lifesaving solutions today and work towards a system that doesn’t leave so many in need of help accessing a drug they need to stay alive.”
For more information, visit www.getinsulin.org.