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 

Tips: Prepare For A Trip To The Doctor

doctor-visit

Sometimes face to face time with our doctor seems rushed.
So to get the most out of this short time, and perhaps even a healthier outcome, I have summarized below several tips that doctors recommend from an article I read in the Wall Street Journal titled Get The Most Out Of A Trip To The Doctor and written by Sumathi Reddy.

 

1. Ask Questions. Doctors suggest writing out a list of questions before your visit to ensure that you remember them. Write the questions in order of importance in case you can’t get to everything.

2. Mind the time. Stay focused on why you’re in the office. We all like a little chit-chat and doctors like to know what’s going on in our lives but if you only get 10 minutes then minimize the small talk. Call ahead if you’re running a few minutes late and minimize your waiting time by booking appointments first thing in the morning.

3. Bring your Meds. That includes herbal and over-the-counter medications, and prescriptions you might have got from another doctor. Bring the actual bottles with the original label so you can double-check the dosing and make sure there hasn’t been an error.

4. Take Notes. Writing down what the doctor says could help your memory, jog your memory later after the visit.

5. Tell the Truth. Even uncomfortable topics such as poor eating habits, or medication adherence, or risky practices might cause you to avoid or sugar-coat a subject, but don’t leave things out. If you’re not being truthful the doctor can’t do their best job in taking care of you.

6. Bring a Friend. Going to an appointment accompanied by a spouse, and adult child, or a friend is particularly important if you’re expecting important test results. You may have trouble understanding or remembering things, and having someone else there can help with that.

7. Be Realistic. Having a hard time getting more exercise like the doctor told you to, or having trouble changing your diet? Don’t feel embarrassed to ask a question if you don’t understand something, and keep the instructions realistic.

8. Bring Things Up First. When you’re having a health concern that provokes some anxiety, you may need to work up the nerve to ask about it, but don’t save it to the end of the visit. Then you’ll have the least time to discuss it. Having a prioritized list of what you want to discuss with the doctor can help with this.

Please visit and follow via Facebook Page. Daniel G. Alcorn, a licensed and independent agent, represents licensed insurance companies in New York and other states.  Dan may receive compensation for individual enrollments in Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplemental Insurance , Medicare Prescription Drug or Long Term Care plans.

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