Brand-only drugs like Restasis, Eliquis and Lyrica can cost well over $500 for a month’s supply, and without cheaper generic alternatives, patients are often forced to either shell out their life savings or give up essential medications. FDA initiatives to expedite the drug review process and prohibit manufacturers from holding market exclusivity for too long will hopefully bring many generics to the market soon. See More
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As with other forms of coverage restrictions, insurance plans use quantity limits to ensure patient safety and control healthcare costs. Quantity limits define how much of a drug you can fill during a specific time period, but they can be a hassle. Here’s how to navigate your plan’s policies, so you can still get the medications you need.
How do quantity limits work?
Generally speaking, plans will review clinical and FDA literature to decide how much of a drug they will cover in a certain time period. See More
Between the supplies, the physician visits, and the prescription medications, treating diabetes can be expensive. In fact, the average patient spends an average of $7,900 per year to treat their diabetes. Doctors consistently report that the high costs for diabetes medications can result in low levels of adherence, so it is important for patients to find ways to save.
Metformin (Glucophage) is first line therapy for diabetes which carries the benefit of helping with weight loss. It’s cheap, does not result in risky low blood sugars (hypoglycemia), has a cheap generic—oh AND it may help you live longer. In a previous blog I told you about the exciting early evidence that metformin may help prevent aging.
Well, a recent loosening of restrictions from the FDA means that 40% or 50% of patients with type 2 diabetes who have mild-moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD) will now be eligible to take metformin. See More
More than 29 million Americans have diabetes. That’s more than 10% of the US—and that number continues to rise. More than 1.7 million adults were diagnosed with diabetes in 2012 alone.
Fortunately, several new medications for diabetes have recently been approved—Toujeo (a new insulin product), Synjardy (a new combination of empagliflozin/metformin) and others. These new drugs provide several benefits such as fewer side effects or foolproof self-dosing with an insulin pen. See More
On August 28, 2015, the FDA issued a safety warning for a newer type of type 2 diabetes medication known as DPP-4 inhibitors or gliptins.
There have been reports that these medications can cause severe and possibly disabling joint pain.
Which medications contain gliptins (DPP-4 inhibitors)?
- Januvia (sitagliptin)
- Onglyza (saxagliptin)
- Tradjenta (linagliptin)
- Nesina (alogliptin)
- Janumet and Janumet XR (metformin and sitagliptin)
- Kombiglyze XR (saxagliptin and metformin)
- Glyxambi (empagliflozin and linagliptin)
- Jentadueto (metformin and linagliptin)
- Kazano (alogliptin and metformin)
- Oseni (alogliptin and pioglitazone)
Why was a FDA safety warning issued for gliptin medications?
The FDA issued the warning due to continued reports of severe joint pain associated with the use of gliptin medications. See More