The Business Case for a Biosimilar Company to Bring a Copy of Levemir to Market
My readers may recall that in November 2023, I blogged that Novo Nordisk announced it plans to retire (stop making) its first " Lantus killer " known as Levemir (insulin detemir injection) in the U.S. in 2024 (catch my post at https://blog.sstrumello.com/2023/11/novo-nordisk-to-discontinue-levemir-in.html for more). At the time I learned of the announcement, I was on vacation in Amsterdam, so I just made a note of the development and blogged about it a few weeks later upon my return.Like other patients my age, I have endured the company ' s previous insulin " retirements " . Novo Nordisk ' s time-frame for withdr...
Source: Scott's Web Log - January 25, 2024 Category: Endocrinology Tags: 2024 Biosimilar Levemir Novo Nordisk PBM Source Type: blogs

Consider Bypassing Your Health Insurance to Afford Certain Type 1 Diabetes-Related Medicines and Supplies
Since it ' s January (a new year), and about half of all Americans with employer-sponsored healthcare insurance plans have some deductibles to satisfy before their healthcare insurance really kicks-in to cover much of anything and deductibles reset on January 1, I thought perhaps this might be a good time to write about my own experience with high-deductible insurance plans and some intelligent work-arounds which I ' ve discovered to deal with those. Who knows? You might (as I did) find you actually like using a particular brand or variety of insulin which is not " preferred " by your insurance ' s PBM, or maybe you f...
Source: Scott's Web Log - January 11, 2024 Category: Endocrinology Tags: type 1 diabetes 2024 bypass insurance manufacturer coupons PBM ' PBMs unbranded insulin Source Type: blogs

Abbott Gets Real About " Formulary Exclusions " Bankrolled by Rival Dexcom in the U.S.
My followers may recall that I ' ve written not-so-kind blog posts about how Dexcom paying legally-exempted rebate kickbacks (seehttps://blog.sstrumello.com/2023/06/dexcom-pays-pbms-kickbacks-to-exclude.html for one such blog post) to major Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) contingent upon " formulary exclusions of less costly rival continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems such as Abbott Freestyle Libre. The retail prices for both CGM sensor brands are remarkably close (ranging from $57.33/sensor to $61.28/sensor). However, the cost computation is not based on the cost per sensor, but must be computed on a cost per ...
Source: Scott's Web Log - December 14, 2023 Category: Endocrinology Tags: 2023 Abbott Freestyle Libre 3 coupons Dexcom PBM PBMs Source Type: blogs

Novo Nordisk to Discontinue Levemir in 2024
Upgrade to Patent-Protected Tresiba — or else!On Wednesday, November 8, 2023, Novo Nordisk announced that it would discontinue its long-acting insulin Levemir (insulin detemir injection) in the United States, citing manufacturing constraints, reduced patient access and available alternatives. The company ' s official statement (seehttps://www.novomedlink.com/diabetes/products/treatments/levemir.html) said: " We will continue to provide Levemir FlexPen and Levemir vials to wholesalers while supplies last, up to the discontinuation dates, but supply disruptions should be expected. "It added further: " Levemir FlexPen,...
Source: Scott's Web Log - November 29, 2023 Category: Endocrinology Tags: 2023 basal insulin diatribe discontinue insulin detemir Levemir Novo Nordisk Source Type: blogs

Your Insulin of the Future Could Be " Made in China " if Big PBMs Have a Say in the Matter
Back on June 16, 2022, I published an article on LinkedIn entitled "How the Civica Insulin Announcement May Be Disruptive to the PBM Kickback Scheme" (see the article athttps://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-civica-insulin-announcement-may-disruptive-pbm-scheme-strumello/ if you wish to read it) which predicted that a growing number of insulin biosimilars whose active pharmaceutical ingredients (API ' s) are cultured in offshore laboratories are forecast to hit the U.S. market in the next few years. According to the FDA and the individual companies whom I also follow on LinkedIn, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) typ...
Source: Scott's Web Log - October 15, 2023 Category: Endocrinology Tags: 2023 Congress insulin insulin prices lawmakers PBM Pharmacy Benefit Managers Source Type: blogs

Follow me on Meta Threads Under User-Name " sstrumello1 " !
I was kind of hoping it wouldn ' t come to this, but it now seems inevitable. Twitter/X has become unsustainable as a viable social platform, so I will (eventually) be migrating to the newer rival run by Meta (fka Facebook). Recall that in August 2023, sensing that Twitter under Elon Musk ' s ownership was would die as a social platform because the owner was clueless about running a social platform, rival Meta stepped in to fill the void with a new application it calls Threadshttps://www.threads.net/. I know about Jack Dorsey ' s BlueSky, but that new social platform still has some serious accessibility issues right n...
Source: Scott's Web Log - October 10, 2023 Category: Endocrinology Tags: 2023 Diabetes Instagram Meta Threads Twitter Source Type: blogs

Another Three Biosimilar Insulins Planned from Meitheal Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
On September 21, 2023, Chicago-basedMeitheal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (which is a subsidiary of a Chinese parent company named Nanjing King-Friend Biochemical Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.) announced an exclusive commercial licensing agreement with a different Chinese company known asTonghua Dongbao Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. with intent to sell three insulin biosimilars in the U.S. market.     The company press release can be seen athttps://www.meithealpharma.com/news/61 while the pharmaceutical industry trade press covered the story athttps://www.thepharmaletter.com/article/licensing-deal-to-bring-three-new...
Source: Scott's Web Log - September 30, 2023 Category: Endocrinology Tags: 2023 Biosimilar insulin Meitheal Pharmaceuticals Source Type: blogs

Abbott Acquires Bigfoot Biomedical. Unity has a new home. Some Bigfoot employees might not like it.
In mid-September 2023, the medical technology startup known as Bigfoot Biomedical, reached a definitive agreement to be acquired by Abbott Laboratories (see the official press release athttps://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/abbott-to-acquire-bigfoot-biomedical-furthering-efforts-to-develop-personalized-connected-solutions-for-people-with-diabetes-301918254.html for details). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Bigfoot ' s CEO Was Fired from JDRFSome people with diabetes might recall that Bigfoot Biomedical was co-founded by Jeffrey Brewer, whose previous job was as CEO of the JDRF. But Mr. Brewer was sh...
Source: Scott's Web Log - September 20, 2023 Category: Endocrinology Tags: 2023 Abbott Bigfoot Biomedical Bigfoot Unity Dexcom FTC Source Type: blogs

Glooko Solicitation: What's in it for me?
This morning, I received a peculiar email. The email was from my endocrinologist ' s office (well, sort of, it was actually sent fromGlooko). The subject line said " New York Presbyterian Medical Group created a Glooko account for your diabetes data " . I was actually a little creeped-out by it, but because I had a very vague idea of what Glooko actually was, I did not instantly delete it. Still, I have no connection to Glooko (in fact, I have never once given the company my email address, nor have I ever asked them for more information, which means they attained it from my endocrinologist ' s office).Some of the issu...
Source: Scott's Web Log - September 19, 2023 Category: Endocrinology Tags: 2023 Glooko solicitation Source Type: blogs

Podcast Episode Recommendation for Deconstructed: Medicare Drug Pricing Negotiations Advance
So, today I am going to share a podcast episode which provides an interesting history of how Medicare ended up being unable to negotiate prescription drug prices which, on its face, seems like it SHOULD make no sense, but somehow price negotiations never happened and the reasons were really absurd. Naturally, since the list of the first 10 drugs to get Medicare price negotiations was published, there has also been considerable discussion of insulin prices which is the poster-child for how broken the prescription drug market is, and even more interestingly was how, included in the first round of Medicare price negotiat...
Source: Scott's Web Log - September 1, 2023 Category: Endocrinology Tags: 2023 Biden Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Joe Biden Part D price negotiations Source Type: blogs

Insurance Deductibles Don't Work Well for Patients with Chronic Illnesses. Some strategies for PWD's With HDHP's to Consider.
The U.S. IRS defines a High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) as a health plan with an annual deductible that is not less than $1,500 for self-only coverage or $3,000 for family coverage, and for which the annual out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, co-payments, and other amounts). About half of all Americans with employer-sponsored healthcare insurance plans have deductibles to satisfy before the insurance covers much although some employers provide Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) to help offset the deductible. That said, the IRS has also ruled that an HDHP can cover certain types of " preventive " care without a deducti...
Source: Scott's Web Log - August 24, 2023 Category: Endocrinology Tags: 2023 Ascensia CGM E3 Eversense HDHP Senseonics Source Type: blogs

Why Amazon Pharmacy's Recent Insulin Move is Helpful, But Not Groundbreaking
On August 15, 2023, Amazon Pharmacy (fka PillPack) announced (seehttps://www.aboutamazon.com/news/retail/amazon-pharmacy-insulin-coupons/ for the announcement) that it would begin automatically applying various manufacturer coupons to more than 15 common insulins and diabetes devices (including Dexcom, which offers a coupon for up to $200 per month athttps://www.dexcom.com/en-us/savings-center-cgm-without-insurance/ even without insurance). So far, no coupons from Abbott on Freestyle Libre 3 sensors, but the longer wear-time of 14-days means those cost about one-third less than Dexcom ' s 10-day Some products, such as bloo...
Source: Scott's Web Log - August 22, 2023 Category: Endocrinology Tags: 2023 Amazon Amazon Pharmacy coupons insulin prices Source Type: blogs

Podcast Episode Recommendation: Healthy Dose of Dialogue Episode 31 " A Dose of Prescription Drug Disruption "
Today, I am recommending a podcast episode worth listening to. Specifically, it is an episode from June 15, 2022 of the podcast known as " Healthy Dose of Dialogue " which describes its mission to " gather the brightest minds in healthcare to share their unique perspectives on transformative marketplace trends, industry insights, and their vision for the future " .This particular episode (EP31: " A Dose of Prescription Drug Disruption " ) is an interview with the President of CivicaScript LLC, which in case you weren ' t aware of it, is an affiliated business unit of the nonprofit drug company Civica, Inc. The president of...
Source: Scott's Web Log - August 9, 2023 Category: Endocrinology Tags: 2023 Biosimilar Civica Civica Rx CivicaRx CivicaScript insulin podcast podcast episode recommendations ypsomed Source Type: blogs

Campaign to End Diabetes Stigma
Currently, there is a global effort to pledge to make the world a more supportive, understanding, informed and caring place for people living with diabetes by eradicating " diabetes stigma " . This has been a matter which Renza Scibilia has invested considerable effort to address (catch her post athttps://diabetogenic.blog/2023/07/31/sign-the-pledge-to-end-diabetes-stigma/ for details) and I wish her well in the venture. To sign the pledge, visithttps://enddiabetesstigma.org/. Diabetes stigma is something I ' ve been forced to endure for nearly a half-century (I was diagnosed with T1D in 1976; you do the math). When i...
Source: Scott's Web Log - August 7, 2023 Category: Endocrinology Tags: 2023 diabetes stigma renza scibilia Source Type: blogs

When Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company Says Your Prescription is " Out of stock "
My followers may recall that about a year ago (on August 22, 2023), I blogged about (see https://blog.sstrumello.com/2022/08/generic-crestor-pricing-insanity.html for the post) that I had made a conscious decision to simply disintermediate my own insurance pharmacy benefit to buy an inexpensive generic statin drug because my own pharmacy benefit manager was screwing me. Currently, I ' m covered by Aetna which is now owned by CVS Health, which also owns the  PBM known as Caremark. Caremark was robbing me on the statin. It was overcharging me. They were trying to charge me $33.85 for a 90-day supply of a cheap...
Source: Scott's Web Log - August 1, 2023 Category: Endocrinology Tags: 2023 cash pharmacy cash-only pharmacy Crestor Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company rosuvastatin calcium Source Type: blogs