For those with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, there are more insulin options available than ever before. These options come in convenient, pre-filled pens and are covered by most insurance policies. The companies that produce them also offer prescription discount cards for those who do not have insurance that can cover the entire cost of the medications.
Soliqua is a great new option available for those with Type 2 diabetes who have found their A1C levels hard to control with other insulin or medications. The medication is a combination of insulin glargine and lixisenatide for those who have not been able to maintain good glucose levels using either of those medications alone. It is only for adult patients and should be used in conjunction with diet and exercise for best results.
For patients who are concerned about the cost of Soliqua, the company offers a $0 copay with their Savings Card. Like other diabetic medications, most insurances also cover Soliqua.
Tresiba is another excellent, recently approved insulin option for children and adults with diabetes. Like the others on the list, Tresiba is a long-acting insulin that only has to be taken once a day. However, unlike the other insulins, adults can change the timing of their Tresiba doses. While other types of long-acting insulin need to be taken at the same time each day, if an adult misses their usual dose time or needs to change the timing of the dose, it will not affect how well the medication works or how long it takes to work. This is because Tresiba, which is insulin degludec, has been shown to work for up to 42 hours after 8 doses. Children, however, need to maintain a certain regimen until alternate dosing has been better studied in younger age groups.
Tresiba is covered by most insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid. There are also several savings options for those who cannot afford their copays, including a savings card and a Novo Nordisk Patient Assistance Program which offers the medication for free to patients who qualify.
Basalgar is one of the newer insulins on the market. It is recommended for those who were recently diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and whose bodies may still be producing small amounts of insulin on its own. Like several older brands, one of those being Lantus, it is an insulin glargine. It is also a basal insulin, which means that it works for 24 hours at a time so it only has to be taken once a day. Unlike Lantus, which has only been studied in patients 6 and older, Basalgar is safe to use for infants over one year old who have been diagnosed with diabetes. This is exciting news for pediatricians as it is often difficult to begin younger children on an insulin regimen due to the risks of using adult insulin.
The release of Basalgar is also good news for those who are uninsured or whose insurance plans have high medication co-pays because it is offered at a much lower price than similar insulin glargine brands. Patients can also save on their prescription using the Basalgar Savings Card.
While it is good to know that there are so many new options available for those with diabetes, it is important to talk to your doctor before you change your insulin or your insulin dosages. Understanding how injectable insulin works with your body to control blood sugar is important. It is also important to pay attention to any potential side effects and to report them to the doctor as soon as possible. These side effects may include extremely low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), rashes, and severe allergic reactions.
There are several other new insulins being developed, but it will take some time before they are approved and released to the general market. In the meantime, if you and your doctor are not satisfied with your current insulin regimen, it is important to know that there are other options available.