I put in my usual request to refill my Humalog Jr pens and needles this weekend. The needles came up, but not the pens. I figured I must have mischecked the box and submitted again. Still nothing listed as in process. Finally I called the pharmacy today: the order vanished because CVS Caremark no longer covers Humalog Jr. In fact it doesn’t look like they’re covering Humalog at all. So I will likely be forced onto Novalog.
A few infuriating things about this:
First, the pharmacy themselves never told me the order wasn’t being filled or that the insurance declined it. They never contacted me at all. I’m traveling this weekend and only have one pen left. I probably could have made it without a backup, but if I’d been any lower on supplies this would have been a dangerous situation. Patients should be informed immediately when refill requests are denied. This whole system is automated, there’s no excuse not to do this.
It also turns out that the discount card for Humalog that I’d had was only operative as long as it was covered. The pharmacist, to their credit, was able to find another discount for uninsured patients that got me their last pack of Humalog Jr pens at the same price I’d been paying. I appreciated that, but it shouldn’t have been necessary.
Second, the PBM never told me they were dropping the medication I’ve refilled countless times. It should be a legal requirement for them to do so. If they’re allowed to withdraw coverage of a drug at any point, we should know about it immediately so we can make alternate prescription plans. As it is it might take days or a week to get new scripts arranged from my endo. Again, if I hadn’t had a little backup left this would have been ugly.
For the moment things are fine although I’m really annoyed at having to change insulins. None of this is news to anyone here. But the lack of minimal transparency is beyond appalling.
But…do you have any of your old pens? Because the Humalog Kwikpens and Kwikpen Jr’s are refillable. So you can easily just put any insulin you want in them, and still have the 1/2 unit dosing the Kwikpen Jr’s give you.
Another option is to get them from Mark’s Marine Pharmacy. You can search that in Google (first link!) or on FUD.
I have ordered from them many times, as have many others on FUD. They are great!
It’s 100% legal. All you need to do is send them your prescription and they will ship the pens to you. Just make sure you specify the Jr version of the pen.
The cost to get them from Canada is incredibly cheap. Probably not too much more than you are paying with your insurance co-pay. And if you refill each pen 3-4 times, you will probably end up way ahead of the cost you have been paying for using each pen only once.
BTW, if you are not using a pump, Humalog and NovoLog are pretty much interchangeable. No real difference. The only time you would see a difference is if you are using a pump, because then it gets down to the breakdown of the insulin after a few days, and the issues with over-saturating a pump site for several days. But when injecting it, they are essentially the same.
I swapped from Humalog to Fiasp (aka Novolog with added cigarettes) no problem. It’s worth a try; talk to your endo, try it and if it doesn’t work there will be a recourse. If it does work you have two horses in the US insurance race to death; ask the bookies, always have two horses to bet on!
In the US is it always worth exploring the analogs. They’re all the same but they claim to be different and that allows them to bypass the rules about generics; each has its own generic. True insanity.
I won’t talk about the adjuvants. I wasn’t in the army.
Thanks for the pointers @Eric . Not using a pump at the moment. I’m on the fence about switching to Novolog vs. sticking with Humalog. If the cost is the same to get them from Canada, I might do that. Depends on how I like the half-unit Novolog pen options (I see they have the Echo, which looks like their version of the InPen.)
Is Admelog an option under your plan? My provincial government plan dropped Humalog and switched everyone to Admelog. I find it’s nearly identical in behaviour to Humalog (unlike Novolog, which I did not tolerate at all). There isn’t a half-unit pen, though.
I had a similar issue, but reversed. I WANTED Novolog and; instead, was moved to Humalog w/o any notice…insurance just stopped supporting it. I was going through the old stack of Novolog pens and hoping I’d never have to start up with the Humalog and then, after a couple years, I was moved back on Novolog because I switched to CVS Mail Order and somehow insurance now approves it because CVS mail order only does the Novolog (to my understanding).
I have literally HUNDREDS of unused Humolog Junior pens that I don’t ever (knock on wood) intend on using (no boxes, just the pens – I always empty out the boxes into a fridge drawer and they’re all in one massive stack). If you want to swap Novolog for Humalog, I’d be down for setting up some trades. If you just need some to hold you over, let me know and I can send you some.
If you have an option for the 1/2 unit pen with NovoLog, that’s certainly an easy fix. I wasn’t sure that NovoLog still had a 1/2 unit pen option. I know they used to, but I have not kept up with their pens.
I mentioned the Canadian route because that’s what I do for pens, and it’s really easy.
There is NO science or clinical study with pump approved insulins stating your claim. And from my 30 T1D years of pumping and using these insulins your statement does not align with real use experience any studies stating this were done previous to FDA pump use approval was started.
I just got caught up on the thread. I also wish it hadn’t turned into a debate over whether or not to strictly obey manufacturer’s labels. I may delete the original post; it was originally just an expression of my frustration, which I probably could have kept to myself.
I can delete my posts. And I don’t want to re-open the entire thing, but the other person started into me with 3 direct replies to me.
First by telling me that I should only say what manufacturers say.
And then the person also replied to me and said there are no studies that support my statement, which is absolutely untrue because I have posted the links on FUD before.
My links to different studies have helped many people on FUD fight insurance denials because the insurance companies said one insulin was just like the other. I showed a bunch of studies before on FUD that refuted it.
So yes, my replies were immature, but the other person did not really seem to be interested in engaging in any kind of discussion.