Admelog, First “Biosimilar” Mealtime Insulin, Launches with New Savings Program
By Jeemin Kwon
Admelog is Sanofi’s version of Humalog (insulin lispro). New prescription savings card is for both Admelog and Lantus for people who would otherwise need to pay full price
When Admelog, the first “biosimilar” insulin in the US, was approved at the end of 2017 for people with diabetes ages three and up, it brought the potential of a cheaper mealtime insulin that is safe and effective. Admelog is a “follow-on” version (sometimes called a “biosimilar”) of the mealtime insulin Humalog (insulin lispro) – it’s a very similar version that contains the same drug as the original. Admelog has now launched in the US and is available in most pharmacies, and, with an exciting new cost-savings program, it is a step towards more affordable insulin for people who would otherwise have to pay the full retail price. Ironically, in the US, those who have to pay the full retail price often receive the highest price compared to those who receive a discount due to an insurance company – we like seeing focus increase on education and are excited to see this opportunity for patients.
Sanofi has a cost-savings program called the “Insulins VALyou Savings Program,” designed to help people without insurance who don’t qualify for traditional patient assistance programs (see our widely-read “How to Get Diabetes Drugs for Free”) as well as those with private insurance who have very high deductible plans. (A deductible is the amount a person has to pay out of pocket before insurance coverage “kicks in.”) Under the program, eligible individuals can get a 10mL vial (1000 units) of Admelog or long-acting insulin Lantus for $99 or five 3mL pens for $149. For comparison, according to GoodRx, a prescription savings website, with their respective savings cards, a 10mL vial of Humalog costs $174 out-of-pocket and a 10mL vial of the mealtime insulin NovoLog costs $282.
To be eligible for the Insulins VALyou Savings Program, you:
Must be a resident of the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, or the US Virgin Islands
Must be over 18 years of age (caregivers may use this program on behalf of a child)
Must not be enrolled in or eligible for any government health insurance such as Medicaid, Medicare, or VA, TRICARE, DOD, etc.
If you are eligible, the savings card will be ready for download immediately. To use the card, simply show it to the pharmacist handling your prescriptions. Note: sometimes pharmacies forget to re-apply these savings cards when refilling a prescription, so make sure it is applied when you pick it up after the first time.
If you are not eligible for the Insulins VALyou Savings Program, there are other cost-saving programs that may help, such as co-pay cards for those with private insurance or patient assistance programs for low-income individuals who are not eligible for Medicaid. (Click here for information on assistance for Lantus. Admelog is not yet included in Sanofi’s patient assistance program.)
For more reading on questions about access and affordability, check out our access series!