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Optum Joins Others Offering Affordable Insulin

The company will provide uninsured patients nationwide an avenue for getting the drug at a far more affordable price point.

Optum, a UnitedHealth Group company, is working with Sanofi to offer a 30-day supply of commonly used Sanofi insulins for $35 to people with diabetes who do not have insurance.

The insulins will be available via its online health services and products retailer Optum Store.

“The need for affordable insulin is urgent, especially for uninsured populations,” said Heather Cianfrocco, chief executive officer of Optum Rx in a news release.1 “By working with Sanofi, we will improve access and lower costs for people who need this life-saving medication.”

Last month, UnitedHealthcare also announced2 plans to eliminate out-of-pocket costs for certain preferred prescription drugs, including insulin and several drugs used to treat emergencies.

Additionally, California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state set aside $100 million to contract to make insulin at a cheaper price and sell it at close to at-cost and available to all.

Of that amount, $50 million will go to low-cost insulin products and $50 million will go toward a California-based insulin manufacturing facility to provide new, high-paying jobs and a stronger supply chain for the drug, the governor said via video.

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“Nothing, nothing epitomizes market failures more than the cost of insulin,” with people spending $300 to $500 out of pocket per month for it, Newsom said. “California is now taking matters into our own hands.”

Here’s how the Optum program works: individuals can access Optum Store to determine whether their insulin is part of the affordability program, get qualified and download an insulin savings card, and then fill their prescription at the $35 price point at any retail pharmacy.

A mail-service option will soon be available for people who prefer home delivery through the Optum Store.

References

  1. Optum to offer lower-cost Insulin for uninsured people living with diabetes on Optum Store. News release. Optum. August 1, 2022. Accessed August 2, 2022. https://www.optum.com/about-us/news/optum-offer-lower-cost-insulin.html
  2. UnitedHealthcare to eliminate out-of-pocket costs on several prescription drugs, including insulin, for eligible members. July 15, 2022. Accessed August 3, 2022. https://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/newsroom/2022/2022-07-15-uhg-eliminate-out-of-pocket-costs.html

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