I just finished making a spreadsheet for a mom over at Children with Diabetes that will hopefully convince her insurance company that a CGMS is not only an effective way to control blood glucose but also a financial advantage to both the insurance company and the patient. When we were trying to get Emma covered for the CGMS, a similar spreadsheet helped us to convince United HealthCare that the CGMS would be a good deal. At least I like to think so.
Every day I am amazed at all the posts on the various forums and blogs that have to do with financing diabetes. Let's take a moment to look at the retail cost of all the supplies I use in a month. Just me, not including Emma.
1. Novolog insulin, 3 vials per month: $246.96
2. Test strips, 180 per month: $159.96
3. Pump tubing, reserviors, and infusion sets: $250
4. Alcohol swabs, IV prep, the occassional syringe, glucose tablets, etc.: $50
That's easily over $700 per month in a good month.
I am lucky. I happen to have excellent insurance, great pharmacists, and a little place called A Plus Medical Supply. If you are a diabetic with PPO insurance, you must call them NOW.
Anyway, I digress. It's no wonder that the financial management side of diabetes becomes so quickly overwhelming. I used to scoff when the media would report that people were choosing between medication and food. I don't scoff anymore, because I see it now everyday in the forums. I'm not going to advocate socialized medicine here or anything, but isn't it really about time that drug companies stop charging $80 for a vial of insulin and $1.00 per test strip?
There is a fight brewing in Congress over generic insulins. Generics labs say that can make it, and the patent-holders say no way. The FDA can't do anything yet because there's no process for testing and approving generic insulins. Is there anything more frustrating than that?