We’re always looking for new ways to help people save on medication. Recently, insulin has been at the top of that list. Prices for popular medication like Levemir, Novolog, Lantus and Humalog have skyrocketed $100’s of dollars over the past ten years costing people thousands in out of pocket costs.
With a disease like Diabetes, maintaining proper insulin levels is essential for good health. Insulin is currently so expensive that many people have taken to skipping doses and rationing their medication use, which can have serious health consequences.
Three Ways To Save On Insulin, Right Now
Below are a few programs that many help with Insulin costs for the insured, underinsured, and uninsured.
1. Get A Novo Nordisk Savings Card
Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company, headquartered in Denmark, that offers a number of patient support programs for insulin medication.
If you have insurance, all you have to do is sign up for the Novo Nordisk Savings Card, which can be used for all Novo Nordisk diabetes products. Their website will ask you a few question about the medication you’re looking for and whether or not you have insurance. Fill those out and you’ll be guided through a process to receive your savings card.
Novo Nordisk Savings Rates
|Medicine Type||“You may be eligible to pay as little as…”|
|Levemir||Insulin detemir injection 100U/mL||$45 per 30 day supply|
|Fiasp||Insulin aspart injection 100U/mL||$25 per 30 day supply|
|NovoLog||Insulin aspart injection 100U/mL||$25 per 30 day supply|
|NovoLog Mix 70/30||Insulin aspart protamine and insulin aspart injectable suspension 100U/mL||$25 per 30 day supply|
|Ozempic||Semaglutide injection 0.5 mg or 1 mg||$25 per 30 day supply|
|RYBELSUS||Semaglutide tablets 3 mg, 7 mg, or 14 mg||$10 per 30 day supply|
|Tresiba||Insulin degludec injection100U/mL or 200 U/mL||$5 per 30 day supply|
|Victoza||Liraglutide injection 1.2 mg or 1.8 mg||$25 per 30 day supply|
|Xultophy® 100/3.6||insulin degludec and liraglutide injection 100U/mL and 3.6 mg/mL||$30 per 30 day supply|
You can also call the call the Novo Nordisk Savings Card Program at 1-877-304-6855 from 8 AM – 8 PM ET Monday - Friday.
How To Get Assistance From Novo Nordisk If You Don’t Have Insurance
 If you don’t have insurance, Novo Nordisk has programs to help with the cost of insulin. Their first option is a Patient Assistance Program, which we strongly advocate you look into. Their Patient Assistance Program provides medication at no cost to those who qualify. Click here to see if you qualify for the Novo Nordisk Patient Assistance Program.
If you don’t qualify for the Patient Assistance Program, they offer another option that can still help reduce the cost of insulin. It’s called My $99 insulin, and patients may be eligible to get a 30-day supply of a combination of Novo Nordisk insulin products (up to 3 vials or 2 packs of pens) for $99 for up to 12 months. Click here to apply for the My $99 insulin program.
Getting An Immediate Supply
For patients in need of insulin immediately, Novo Nordisk will supply a free, one-time supply of up to 3 vials or 2 packs of pens for patients with a prescription.
Patients can call (844) 668-6463 or visit NovoCare.com.
2. Get A Savings Card For Lilly Diabetes Medicine
Similar to Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly also offers savings cards specifically for diabetes medication and insulin. People with diabetes, who have commercial insurance, may qualify for savings cards to help with the cost of certain Eli Lilly insulins and diabetes medicines.
Unlike Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly does not make you fill out a few questions to apply for a savings card. You can have a savings card emailed to you or download it directly to your phone or computer.
Unfortunately, you cannot be currently enrolled in a governmental program to be elligible for a savings card. Excluded programs include, without limitation, Medicaid, Medicare, Medicare Part D, Medigap, DOD, VA, TRICARE/CHAMPUS, or any State Patient or Pharmaceutical Assistance Program.
3. Try Walmart’s $25 OTC Insulin
What Is Walmart’s Insulin?
If you live with diabetes, ReliOn is probably a brand you’ve heard of before. Walmart’s house brand for diabetic testing supplies.
But you might not know that Walmart also offers affordable insulin medication over the counter—which means you don’t need an insurance plan. Depending on your location, ReliOn insulin usually costs about $24.88 to purchase.
ReliOn is FDA approved, but it is human insulin which is different than the insulin a doctor may prescribe.
How To Get ReliOn Insulin At Walmart for $25
Since this insulin is available over the counter, all you have to do is go to the pharmacy counter and ask the pharmacist for Novo Nordisk’s Novolin ReliOn Insulin. It’s that simple, no prescription needed.
However, there are differences between this type of insulin and the newer types of prescription insulin. Read below for more detail on the differences.
Caution: ReliOn Insulin Is Not The Same As The Analog Insulin That Is More Commonly Prescribed Today
While ReliOn may help patients in a pinch, especially those without health insurance, it’s also a formulation known as “human” insulin which was developed in the early 1980s. It was the first version of insulin medication that was identical to what the human body produces on its own. It is FDA approved and completely safe to use.
But, as the science and technology for producing insulin got more advanced, newer versions of the medication were introduced that featured ultra-rapid absorption and ultra-long lasting effects. Over time, doctors and drug companies have switched to prescribing newer versions of insulin instead of human insulin.
Insulins like Humalog and Levemir are commonly known as analogs. They were developed to be more effective at preventing dangerous blood sugar swings in people with Type 1 diabetes or those at a higher risk for severe low blood sugar.
Human insulin and analog insulin work exactly the same way in lowering blood glucose once absorbed in the bloodstream, however the types of insulin are different in how slowly or rapidly they are absorbed once injected.
Because of this: YOU MUST speak to your Physician before making any change in insulin. Your doctor will be able to help you in determining what your new dose should be as well as when and how to administer the insulin.
Remember, your doctor and pharmacist are there to help you! If you’re struggling to afford your medication, ask them for help. They can guide you towards savings options you didn’t know you had! Following these tips and talking to your doctor and pharmacist are a simple way to start putting the power of your healthcare back in your hands.
Ken is a multidisciplinary pharmacist, with over thirty eight years’ experience within Pharmacy and the Managed Care industries. He is a pharmacy savings gurus—helping people with all the ways they get their medicine: mail, retail, and hospital pharmacy, clinical programs, specialty pharmacy and health plans.