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 

When what we do helps someone…

…. it’s great to hear results.

Just before Thanksgiving I met with a recently widowed woman.  Still in mourning, she was reeling from her loss and struggling to make sense of her health plan costs and her dramatically reduced monthly income.

When she disclosed her assets and monthly income, I explained to her some programs she was likely eligible for and provided assistance with the enrollment process.

For starters, the easy one. I enrolled this client in the New York State Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program. EPIC helps with Medicare Part D premiums, prescriptions co-pays and the Part D “donut hole.”

Then, we confirmed she was eligible for Social Security Extra Help – available to Medicare participants with limited resources.

Third, New York State offers Part B premium assistance to Medicare participants with limited income and resources.

I love what I do.

When I received this note with the closing “Thank you again for giving me my life back” it reminds me of why we serve – to add some value to another’s life.  This is fulfilling and rewarding in its own way.

2016 0215 Thank you note

http://www.myuhcagent.com/daniel.alcorn
(518) 346-2115