Insulin maker offering free 90-day supply to patients financially impacted by pandemic

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PLAINSBORO CENTER, N.J. — One insulin maker is offering diabetic patients free insulin for 90 days if they no longer have health insurance coverage because they lost their jobs during the COVID-19 economic crisis.

Pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk announced April 14 that the offer is available through its diabetes patient assistance program.

"The pandemic is taking a serious toll on the nation's health and economy. Millions of people are losing jobs and health coverage, and that's especially tragic if you have a chronic disease like diabetes," said Doug Langa, Executive Vice President, North America Operations and President of Novo Nordisk Inc.

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To participate, individuals must provide documentation that they lost their healthcare benefits or that they are being offered Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) benefits. In a news release, the company said if someone's paperwork isn't immediately available they can take advantage of the company's immediate supply.

Novo Nordisk's offer is only for 90 days, but the company said if someone's Medicaid benefits are denied they can extend through the end of the year.

However, anyone applying for this program must have a valid prescription for Novo Nordisk insulin and meet certain eligibility criteria.

"Patients have enough issues to worry about at this moment. We don't want being able to pay for their insulin to be one of them," said Langa.

Novo Nordisk is just the most recent manufacturer to help patients during the coronavirus pandemic. At the beginning of April, Eli Lilly announced it was capping the out-of-pocket cost for insulin at $35 during the COVID-19 crisis.

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