NEWSFLASH: Animas Exiting Insulin Pump Market, as announced on DiabetesMine by Mike Hoskins on 6 October 2017. Johnson & Johnson, who owned the Animas brand, issued a press release that, effective immediately, no more Animas pumps will be sold in the USA or Canada and TBD internationally. 90,000 existing Animas pump customers will be affected.
The reasons J&J cited: “With changing needs of customers, rapidly evolving market dynamics, and increased competitive pressures, it proved too difficult to sustain the insulin pump business and we decided to pursue an exit of the business. This decision was extremely difficult and comes following the extensive exploration of all other viable options for the Animas business.”
Sadly, J&J has “partnered” with Medtronic to transition its existing customers to the Medtronic’s pump offerings. Both Tandem and Insulet are making offers to Animas customers.
Protesters at Eli Lilly’s Headquarters Demand Transparency and Lower Insulin Prices, 13 September 2017, as reported by ASweetLife.org.
People living with diabetes and health advocates gathered outside the Indianapolis headquarters of pharmaceutical giant, Eli Lilly, one of the three major insulin manufacturers, to demonstrate for fair insulin prices. In the weeks leading up to the demonstration, T1International and People of Faith for Access to Medicines (PFAM) planned a peaceful but powerful, data and story-driven event to grab the attention of the insulin manufacturers, and the nation.
Insulin prices have been increasingly rising out of control and proportion; in 20 years the costs have climbed 1123%, while U.S. inflation stayed around 56%. People with insulin dependent diabetes in most income brackets are deeply struggling to pay for this life-sustaining medication, which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars a month.
- Protesters at Eli Lilly’s Headquarters Demand Transparency and Lower Insulin Prices
- Insulin Pricing Protest Draws Passionate Crowd (Grim Reaper and Dr. Banting, Too!)
Midyear formulary changes wreak havoc on diabetes care was reported on 5 September 2017 by Clinical Endocrinology News.
Instability of formulary coverage for drug and insulin can make it tough to treat patients with diabetes, and the problem is getting worse. By example: CVS Caremark removed 22 insulin products and drugs to treat diabetes in its July 2017 formulary update.
“This is a real problem,”, MD, an endocrinologist at Banner University Medical Group in Phoenix, said in an interview. “We have people that are doing well on one medication and then all of a sudden, their insurance carrier says you have to use a different medication and they don’t tolerate it. It’s a real problem.”
Claresa Levetan, MD, with Chestnut Hill Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolic Associates of Philadelphia, agreed. “It’s a very big problem. … In my practice, it’s a nightmare because I cannot choose to put them on the insulin or the medications that would be best for them.”
The situation is made more challenging by the sheer volume of money spent on insulins and diabetes drugs. Diabetes prescription ranked first among therapeutic classes in terms of total spend (13%), ahead of autoimmune (11.9%) and multiple sclerosis and HIV treatments (both tied at 4.7% each) for itsaccording to pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) Prime Therapeutics. Three of the top 10 drugs by drug spend are diabetes medication (No. 4: Lantus; No. 7: NovoLog; and No. 8: Victoza). For its , diabetes drugs also topped the list in terms of total spend per therapeutic class (14.2%), ahead of oral cancer therapies (11.3%) and respiratory (6.5%). Three of the top 10 drugs by drug spend among Medicare Part D clients are diabetes drugs (No. 4: Lantus; No. 6: Januvia; and No. 10: Humalog KwikPen).