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Novo Nordisk Offers Free Insulin to People Experiencing Financial Hardship During COVID-19

By Jimmy McDermott

People using Novo Nordisk insulin who have lost health insurance coverage due to job loss during COVID-19 are eligible for free insulin for 90 days

Updated on January 6, 2021

Novo Nordisk announced that people who have lost health insurance due to a change in employment status during COVID-19 may be eligible for Novo Nordisk’s Patient Assistance Program to receive free insulin for 90 days. They recently announced on January 6, 2021 that they will extend their COVID-19 Patient Assistance Program, NovoCare, through June 30, 2021.

To qualify for the program, applicants must provide documents showing a loss of healthcare benefits (such as a job termination notice, job status change, or proof that COBRA benefits are being offered). Proof of income is not required. If Medicaid benefits are denied, assistance for eligible people can be extended beyond 90 days, to the end of 2020. Find out if you meet eligibility criteria at NovoCare.com or by calling 1-844-668-6463.

Novo Nordisk will continue to offer additional options to help people afford their insulin:

Patient Assistance Program – offers free insulin to people who meet the following requirements:

  • Be a US citizen or legal resident.

  • Have a total household income at or below four times (400%) the federal poverty level (FPL). This means that a family of four with an annual income up to $104,800 may receive free medications through the PAP, and for individuals, the annual income limit for participation is $51,040.

  • Be uninsured, or in the Medicare program.

  • Not be enrolled in or qualify for any other federal, state, or government program such as Medicaid, Low Income Subsidy or Veterans (VA) Benefits. Exceptions include people who are Medicaid eligible who have applied for and been denied Medicaid.

My$99Insulin – people with diabetes will be able to purchase up to three vials or two packs of FlexPen/FlexTouch pens with any combination of Novo Nordisk analog insulins (NovoLog, Tresiba, Fiasp) for $99. Depending on the brand, this is about 3000-3800 units of insulin. 

Immediate Supply – A short-term, immediate-need program for those working to identify a longer-term solution for getting insulin. Novo Nordisk offers a free, one-time, immediate supply of up to three vials or two packs of pens of Novo Nordisk insulin, if you have a prescription.

Follow-On Brands (also known as authorized generics) of NovoLog and NovoLog Mix are available in vial and pen formulations. These insulins are sold for half the cost of the current branded versions. Because these Follow-On Brands are “authorized generics,” people with a prescription for NovoLog will be able to buy these cheaper forms of insulin without a new prescription. 

Novo Nordisk Human Insulin – At Walmart, you can buy insulin for $25 without a prescription (“over-the-counter”) and without insurance. It comes in a 10mL vial and is called Novolin ReliOn Insulin. It is offered in both regular human insulin (“R” – for use at mealtime) and NPH (“N” – a longer-acting basal insulin). You can also get Novolin at CVS Pharmacy for $25 per 10 mL vial through the Reduced Rx program.

Copay Savings Cards – Copay cards can help reduce out-of-pocket costs for medications. If you qualify, you can use these cards at the pharmacy counter to receive discounts on your medication. These savings programs are for those who are commercially insured and are not available to those who receive government-sponsored insurance (e.g., Medicaid, Medicare, Medicare Part D). Learn more about Novo Nordisk savings cards here.

diaTribe editor-in-chief Kelly Close said, "Having diabetes, in any environment, can be stressful, but placing COVID-19 on top of that has raised the anxiety level for the entire diabetes community. Novo Nordisk has now reassured those of us who require insulin that we will not be abandoned. Even if you've been furloughed or laid off or have lost your insurance, you will not lose access to your insulin. That act of generosity, of support, means a great deal to the entire community."

For a full list of insulin access programs, please see our Paying for Insulin resource page.

For more information on insulin during COVID-19, see our article on Getting Insulin During COVID-19.