Diabetes help line to assist people seeking solutions to insulin affordability

Lilly diabetes help line
Lilly diabetes help line

Special to the NNPA

INDIANAPOLIS – Starting Aug. 1, a new dedicated help line called the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center will assist people who need help paying for their insulin – such as those with lower incomes, the uninsured, and people in the deductible phase of their high-deductible insurance plans, Eli Lilly and Company announced last week. A customized suite of solutions for all Lilly insulins, including for Humalog insulin will be used by help line operators to find answers that best fit the personal circumstances of patients.

Among the multiple solutions being made available through the help line are short-term and long-term options for people with immediate needs for insulin and how people with lower incomes can access Lilly insulin through free clinics. Lilly is donating Humalog and Humulin [insulin human injection] to three relief agencies – Americares, Direct Relief and Dispensary of Hope – to supply nearly 150 free clinics across the U.S.

“We want to hear from people who have trouble paying for their insulin so that we can try to find a solution for them,” said Enrique Conterno, president of Lilly Diabetes and Lilly USA. “People with diabetes face numerous costs for their treatment including medicines, supplies and doctor visits. Our solution center can help relieve the cost burden for many people and better ensure they receive comprehensive treatment for diabetes. Our solution center will take a targeted approach to the problem by finding customized solutions for people.”

David A. Ricks, Chairman and CEO of Lilly, added, “While the current system works for many people, there are still gaps. That’s why Lilly is working with PBMs, insurance companies, advocacy groups and others to bring solutions to patients, and why we are advancing additional solutions today. Lilly and our partners share a commitment to reduce the cost of insulin at the pharmacy counter so that everyone who needs our medicines to manage their diabetes is able to get them.”

Based on estimates from market research data, more than 400,000 people living with diabetes in the U.S. and Puerto Rico could benefit from the new solution center. Conterno said Lilly will continue to build upon these solutions with additional answers for people who need relief from high out-of-pocket costs.

Following solutions will be made available starting Aug. 1:

Help line

The help line will be a dedicated service that identifies solutions for people who have trouble affording their insulin. The solution center help line will be staffed with people who find options based upon the personal circumstances of the person in need – including their location, type of insurance and income level. The goal of the help line is to ensure each person who uses Lilly insulin is matched with the best cost solution available. The phone number will be made available Aug. 1.

Free clinics

Lilly is donating insulin to three relief agencies – Americares, Direct Relief and Dispensary of Hope – to eventually supply nearly 150 free clinics across the U.S. with Lilly insulin. Help line operators will point people toward clinics that are most convenient to them and explain how to access them. Lilly is working now with the relief agencies to identify as many clinics as possible that can adequately store and distribute insulin to people who need it. (Qualifications will differ clinic-to-clinic).

Point of sale savings

We are increasing our financial assistance for people who may need help paying for insulin. The help line will use a suite of solutions to find answers for people who face the highest out-of-pocket costs, such as people who are uninsured and people who pay significant costs when they are in the deductible phase of their high-deductible commercial insurance plans. The solutions will be customizable based upon personal circumstances and will include options for all Lilly insulins.

Immediate Needs

If someone has an immediate need for insulin, they will be able to call the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center to learn about immediate and longer-term options. “Our goal is to ensure everyone who needs insulin can get it,” said Mike Mason, senior vice president of Connected Care and Insulins for Lilly Diabetes.

More information on these programs, including how to access savings, will be provided Aug. 1. Lilly will promote the availability of these programs in a variety of ways, including through paid advertising, social media and ongoing media outreach.

“Lilly has actively engaged in discussions about the price of insulin – and potential solutions for people paying the highest out-of-pocket costs – with patients, caregivers, health care providers, advocacy groups, lawmakers, and thought leaders across the diabetes community. Our conversations have been meaningful, and we’ve taken them seriously,” Mason said. “We look forward to introducing these solutions, and others that will help more people who live with diabetes.”

Between now and Aug. 1, people can call The Lilly Answers Center at 800-545-5979.

Indication:

• Humalog is used to treat people with diabetes for the control of blood sugar. Humalog Mix75/25 (75 percent insulin lispro protamine suspension and 25 percent insulin lispro injection) and Humalog

• Mix50/50 (50 percent insulin lispro protamine suspension and 50 percent insulin lispro injection) are used to treat adults with diabetes for the control of high blood sugar.

Do not take Humalog if your blood sugar is too low – or hypoglycemia – or if you are allergic to insulin lispro or any of the ingredients in Humalog.

Important Safety Information for Humalog

Important information about Humalog

• Do not share your Humalog KwikPen, Humalog Junior KwikPen, cartridges, reusable pen compatible with Lilly 3 mL cartridges, or syringes with other people, even if the needle has been changed. You may give other people a serious infection or get a serious infection from them.

• Do not change the insulin you use without talking to your health care provider. Changes may make you more likely to experience low or high blood sugar. Changes should be made cautiously under the supervision of your health care provider.

• Test your blood sugar levels as your health care provider instructs.

• Your insulin dose may need to change because of illness, stress, other medicines you take, change in diet, or change in physical activity or exercise.

• When used in a pump, do not mix or dilute Humalog with any other insulin or liquid.

Who should not take it?

Do not take Humalog if your blood sugar is too low or if you are allergic to insulin lispro or any of the ingredients in Humalog.

Before using Humalog, what should I tell my health care providers?

• About all of your medical conditions, including liver, kidney, or heart failure or other heart problems.

• If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.

• About all the medicines you take, including prescription (especially ones commonly called TZDs [thiazolidinediones]) and nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.

How should I use it?

• Humalog is a rapid-acting insulin. Take Humalog within 15 minutes before eating or right after eating a meal.

• Always make sure you receive the correct type of Humalog from the pharmacy.

• Do not use Humalog if it is cloudy, colored, or has solid particles or clumps in it.

• Inject Humalog under your skin (subcutaneously). Never inject into a vein or muscle. Change (rotate) your injection site with each dose. Make sure you inject the correct insulin and dose.

• Do not reuse needles. Always use a new needle for each injection. Reuse of needles can cause you to receive the wrong dose of Humalog and result in infection.

• Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Humalog affects you. Do not use alcohol while using Humalog.

What are the possible side effects?

• Severe low blood sugar can cause unconsciousness, seizures and death. Low blood sugar is the most common side effect. There are many causes of low blood sugar, including taking too much Humalog. It is important to treat it quickly. You can treat mild to moderate low blood sugar by drinking or eating a quick source of sugar right away. Symptoms may be different for each person. Be sure to talk to your health care provider about low blood sugar symptoms and treatment.

• Severe life-threatening allergic reactions – whole-body reactions – can happen. Get medical help right away if you develop a rash over your whole body, have trouble breathing, have a fast heartbeat, or are sweating.

• Humalog can cause life-threatening low potassium in your blood –hypokalemia – which can cause severe breathing problems, irregular heartbeat and death.

• Serious side effects can include swelling of your hands and feet and heart failure when taking certain pills called thiazolidinediones or “TZDs” with Humalog. This may occur in some people even if they have not had heart problems before. Tell your health care provider if you have shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet, or sudden weight gain, which may be symptoms of heart failure. Your health care provider may need to adjust or stop your treatment with TZDs or Humalog.

• Failure of your insulin pump or infusion set or degradation of the insulin in the pump can cause hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis. Always carry an alternate form of insulin administration in case of pump failure.

• The most common side effects of Humalog include low blood sugar, allergic reactions, including reactions at your injection site, skin thickening or pits at the injection site

• Lipodystrophy – itching and rash. These are not all of the possible side effects. Ask your health care provider for more information or for medical advice about side effects.

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