Is the new Novo Nordisk “improved” insulin worth a 60-70% price hike? The market says ‘no.’

My clients regularly ask why brand name medications are so expensive. This great article by WSJ reporter Denise Roland helps explain the game. “In traditional marketing, a product line extension is the use of an established brand name for a new item with new flavors, forms, colors, added ingredients, package sizes.” Novo Nordisk repackaged its long lasting insulin with some tweaks and expected a 60-70% price increase over the previous product. Crazy, huh? The German (single payer) pricing board said as this product extension offers no real advantage in controlling diabetes there is no justification for a price difference. Other European national health plans acted in kind. However, once our FDA approves the product for safety it may be rolled out at the boosted price level which Medicare cannot negotiate. It’s the law.
Click this link to the Wall Street Link to WSJ Article 

Medicare Issues Projected Drug Premiums for 2018

CMS reports the average 2018 monthly premium for a basic Part D prescription drug plan will be reduced by $1.20 to $33.50.

In addition to the monthly premium other Part D variables Medicare beneficiaries should compare are:

  • Plan Formulary – not all plans are alike. Check and confirm your medication is included in the list of covered drugs.
  • Tier Levels – competing plans may list the same covered drugs however may assign different tier levels with higher or lower copays.
  • Deductible – Like with your car insurance, this is the amount you pay before the Part D plan benefits begin. Some plans apply a deductible to all drugs, other plans apply only to certain tier levels.
  • Preferred pharmacy or Mail Order – some plans negotiate lower retail and copay costs with national retail or Mail Order pharmacies.

Extra Help for Part D plan premium, deductible and copay amounts is available to individuals meeting income and resource levels. 

https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2017-Press-releases-items/2017-08-02-3.html

Informational Guides to Medicare

Download your own copy of these informational guides from Medicare Made Clear.

Do you have additional questions about Medicare?

There’s a guide for that!

The comprehensive Show Me Guide and the other resources listed below can help.
http://www.medicaremadeclear.com/information/medicare-guides

Contact me with any questions:
http://www.myuhcagent.com/daniel.alcorn