As the government shutdown lingers into its second month, there have been numerous stories in the media about government employees going without their medications, including insulin. To ease some of that burden, three insulin manufacturers — Eli Lilly and Company, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi — are providing outreach to insulin-dependent patients affected by the partial government shutdown.
Eli Lilly and Company is encouraging affected government employees to call the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center and check whether they are receiving all eligible discounts to lower the out-of-pocket costs for their Lilly insulin. The Solution Center may be able to provide discounts based upon the personal circumstances of each person who calls. Any government employee who is not being paid because of the shutdown can talk to a live U.S.-based Lilly representative to learn about options available to them and others covered on their insurance policy.
Government employees, as well as other people needing help with the cost of their Lilly insulin, can call the Solution Center helpline at (833) 808-1234 from 9 am to 8 pm EST Monday through Friday. Customer service representatives are trained nurses and pharmacists who have experience with the health care system.
“Government employees and their families who are dependent on insulin are in unique circumstances and are facing difficult choices,” says Mike Mason, senior vice president, Insulins and Connected Care. “Anyone having trouble paying for their Lilly insulin, including government employees who are going without pay, should contact the Solution Center to see what help may be available to them.”
Since August of 2018, Lilly has provided solutions to more than 10,000 people each month through the Solution Center and related support programs, lowering out-of-pocket costs for insulin. The Solution Center is available to residents in all U.S. states and territories. Due to federal guidance, people who use Medicare Part D, Medicaid and Tricare* are not eligible for manufacturer co-pay support. Solution Center services are offered in English, Spanish, and several other languages.
In a blog post, Novo Nordisk writes that at “a time when high healthcare costs are already on a lot of peoples’ minds, we don’t want to add to the worry or stress furloughed workers may be feeling – especially if we have an option for them that could potentially help.” Patients who use Novo Nordisk products affected by the partial government shutdown can call the Customer Care Center at (800) 727-6500 for options on affordable access to the medications they need.
Patients who participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program who use Sanofi products are eligible for the Sanofi Savings Card Program. Patients should visit their respective brands’ websites to register. Uninsured patients can call the Sanofi Patient Connection program at (888) 847-4877 or visit www.sanofipatientconnection.com to help connect them to the medications they need.
The Endocrine Society and our partners in the diabetes community are committed to maintaining access to lifesaving treatments. As a united force, we are sharing resources to help those affected:
- Novo Nordisk blog post – https://www.novonordisk-us.com/perspectives/options-that-may-help.html
- ADA resource page – https://insulinhelp.org/
- diaTribe resource page – https://diatribe.org/foundation/about-us/dialogue/patient-assistance-resources-government-shutdown
- Beyond Type 1 story – https://beyondtype1.org/government-shutdown-insulin/
- Endocrine Society position statement – https://www.endocrine.org/advocacy/priorities-and-positions/increasing-insulin-affordability
*Other limitations apply.