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Do you people get all your diabetes stuff for nothing?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by TheBigNewt, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    That is the problem nowadays. If you can't claim any benefits then you don't qualify to get free prescriptions or anything else. That is so wrong. It's either all or nothing. There should be a middle way. Of course you can't afford it so you shouldn't have to pay. My son has a 'season ticket' for prescriptions which means he only has to pay £29.10 every 3 months for all his prescriptions so the maximum a couple on regular medications should be paying is £58.20 every 3 months. I am not sure what the annual rate is.
     
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  2. RuffsTheShake

    RuffsTheShake Type 1 · Active Member

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    I paid about $80 for 5 boxes of novorapid and 5 boxes of lantus which lasts me over a year and $16 for a 100 strips. My needles are free. I get 5 allied health sessions (podiatrist, dietician etc) if I set up a plan with my GP and once a year diabetic eye checks are covered too.
    After reading some of your posts I'm glad to live in Australia!
     
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  3. DaftThoughts

    DaftThoughts LADA · Well-Known Member

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    The Netherlands works with a yearly deductible. It's been creeping up on us for years now, everything used to be a single payer system, then the government had the bright idea to privatize healthcare. We pay more every year, and get less in return every year as more things get taken out of the nation-wide set basic package. Quality of care is suffering at the moment and only expected to decline further. Many Dutch citizens are rallying for the return of the single payer system, for many good reasons.

    Right now my yearly deductible is €385. It used to be around €155 in 2009, so it's more than doubled in not even a decade. Most of my medication isn't covered until I max out my deductible, though as of January this year I won't even make it past 5 months before it's all gone. Everything I take after that is covered. A lot of medication ends up never being covered for adults and this list grows every year, which is a worrying trend. GP visits and other basic care are 100% covered without deductibles though, which I'm super grateful for.

    My test materials are 100% covered as insulin dependency requires the testing. Non-insulin dependent diabetics have to pay out of pocket because their testing is not seen as essential. (Which is true for the short term, but very much false in the long term!)

    Right now I pay €44.20 for five pens of NovoRapid, and €52.16 for three pens of Toujeo. I use about 2 pens of NovoRapid a month, and 1 pen of Toujeo. So thats about €35 a month on insulin out of pocket until I hit my deductible around May-June, then it's 100% covered.

    That said, I'm extremely worried about my US diabetic friends. Some of them have no choice in what they can get, and their monthly expenses run up as high as $800-$1200 a month just for insulin and materials. They ration out insulin to last even if this mean their sugars are sky-high. Most of them are stuck in a low-income situation where they make just too much to qualify for anything, but not actually enough to pay all their bills and medication. Doctors refuse to prescribe anything else and they don't have the luxury of shopping around for another doctor due to their healthcare plan terms. Some months it comes down to rent or insulin, homeless or alive, and it's a horrific situation. I complain about our healthcare a lot, but only because I'm terrified we'll end up in that exact same position sooner or later.
     
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  4. TorqPenderloin

    TorqPenderloin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Again...NO...it doesn't. To say that they make too much money to qualify for Medicaid/government assistance but can't afford $40/month for insulin is ridiculous. You're describing a situation that is so incredibly rare in the states it's not even worth a discussion.

    Even if someone was in the situation you described all they would have to do is contact their local JDRF office and ask for assistance.

    People like me are more than willing to donate excess supplies. I've contacted my local office on multiple occasions BEGGING them to take the 5+ unopened boxes of Levemir I have in my refrigerator (that's 20+ flexpens btw).

    There are occasionally people who need it, but it's not as if there's a line outside the door of people dying to get insulin.
     
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  5. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Have a look at this link.
    There are options available to reduce costs for multiple repeat prescriptions.
    http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcosts/Pages/PPC.aspx

    You would most definitely qualify with 26 items on a regular basis.

    This is a quote from the webpage above:

    If you know you’ll have to pay for a lot of NHS prescriptions it may be cheaper to buy a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) – effectively a prescription 'season ticket'. A PPC covers you for all of your own NHS prescriptions, including NHS dental prescriptions, no matter how many items you need. However, this does not include other health costs, for example the provision of wigs and fabric supports which are only provided through the hospital service.There are two PPC options to choose from:

    1. A three month PPC costs £29.10 and will save you money if you need more than three prescribed items in three months
    2. A 12 month PPC costs £104.00 and will save you money if you need more than 12 prescribed items in a year
    How much can I save?
    • If you need two items each month you can save over £100 with a 12 month PPC
    • If you need three items each month you can save over £205 with a 12 month PPC
    • If you need four items each month you can save over £305 with a 12 month PPC
    There are several payment options available. If you choose the 12 month PPC, you can pay for this by 10 monthly direct debit instalments.

    Edited to add: Having just checked your profile, I see that you are on Insulin. That means that you should be exempt from prescription charges (if in England). Just ask for the exemption form from your doctor's receptionist, fill it in, get it signed and submitted, and you won't pay prescription charges for the life of the exemption, which is 5 years, I think.

    Here is a link about it:
    http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/HealthCosts/1126.aspx
     
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    #65 Brunneria, Apr 14, 2017 at 3:58 PM
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  6. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    Why are you paying prescription charges if you have been diagnosed Type 2? I thought all prescriptions were free if you were taking meds for Type 2 with a medical exemption certificate. I had one for the brief period I took metformin..Have you applied for one.. sound like it could help you quite a bit?
     
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  7. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    @bulkbiker @Brunneria I think @lukkymik doesn't pay for his prescriptions, he was just having a swipe at me saying I don't mind paying for mine as it helps the NHS funding those who can't afford to do so. Not sure what I said wrong tbh. The NHS is short of money IMO those who can afford to pay the charges should. I see no reason why England should follow the rest of the UK and make them free for everybody. I didn't say that he or anyone else who couldn't afford to pay them should have to do so and in any case it's just my opinion.
     
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  8. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

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    Some of us have never been prescribed meds for our T2 (just saying). Secondly, your prescription exemption, provided you have the card, is valid for 5 years, irrespective of whether you remain on diabetes meds.

    My guess is the admin to ensure compliance every time someone made a claim would be too burdensome.
     
  9. serenity648

    serenity648 · Guest


    your reply is confusing me. Are you replying to @bulkbiker or or @lukkymik ?

    either way, the bother of applying for the prescription exemption or prepayment is well worth it.
     
  10. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    Bulkbiker, as he said he'd had an exemption for a short while.
     
  11. therower

    therower Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    As a T1 I have an exemption certificate for which I am eternally grateful, but on the very rare occasions I need a prescription for something not related directly to my diabetes I choose to pay.
    Once had a very heated debate with a pharmacist who insisted I didn't need to pay. I pointed out the full strength pain killers I was prescribed were not because I was diabetic but because I had over trained at the gym and was my fault and I didn't expect the NHS to support my stupidity.
     
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  12. DaftThoughts

    DaftThoughts LADA · Well-Known Member

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    You don't know my friends, their situations or anything other than a brief summarized paragraph I added to my post. You have no basis to judge on or make any claims. I'll double check with my friends whether they have been in touch with the JDRF, but they have been extremely thorough, so that might be something they already went through.

    I want to contest your claim there though. This situation is not rare. This is happening increasingly often, a quick Google search pulls up a shocking amount of information, including statements from doctors who see a rising number in patients not taking any insulin.

    http://c-hit.org/2016/04/10/low-income-diabetics-paying-high-price-for-insulin/

    http://kellywpa.com/2016/08/22/insulin-prices-when-you-cant-afford-to-stay-alive/

    https://www.diabeticlifestyle.com/type-1-diabetes/insulin-prices-skyrocketing

    Novo Nordisk was sued over the fact that insulin prices are so ridiculously high in the US, too. It's clearly problematic and not something to be dismissed..

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-rele...rtain-of-its-senior-executives-300389860.html

    Furthermore, there are great downsides to this cheap and brandless insulin. One of them is that you can suffer extreme and severe side-effects from it because it is a lot harder to regulate. It's basically an old school version that was discontinued for use by doctors for a very good reason.

    http://www.npr.org/sections/health-...insulin-without-a-prescription-but-should-you

    It almost seems to be the equivalent of taking cheap medicine intended for pets because the human version is too expensive. You'll probably survive, but it could seriously damage you for the long term and cause more problems down the road. Furthermore, the fact that no prescription is needed means it is way less (or not at all) regulated which contributes to these issues.

    That is also assuming that people have access to a Walmart in the area, transportation to get to the pharmacy, and that the insulin is sold at that low price. As far as I'm aware, it can still cost in the double digits for a bottle depending on where you are.

    I'm glad you've made it work out for you and have the privilege of giving away your insulin for those in need, but I feel you're stepping out of line by saying 'No' and expecting it to negate my friends' situations, without even knowing a single thing about them other than 'they're diabetic'. There are countless of factors that come into play. Some of us don't even have five bucks leftover at the end of the month, much less forty for a bottle of cheap, brandless insulin. I have friends on other medications who are insured, but still have nothing left at the end of the month and are forced to choose between food and medication. This is not even a diabetes issue, it's a general healthcare system problem. Your healthcare system is about to be turned upside down again by the Republicans which is probably going to make things worse for everyone, if current indicators are to be believed. My friends are freaking out, and I am with them because there is literally nothing else they can do.

    I'm not enjoying watching my friends struggle the way they do. They're all pretty smart cookies who make use of the resources in their areas, but when there are none, or there isn't even money for the brandless ****, your 'NO' doesn't change any of that. And considering most of my friends struggle in the healthcare department financially, to the point where they ask people not to call ambulances and just get a taxi because it'll make them homeless otherwise, I genuinely doubt it's an insignificant number of people having these issues.
     
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  13. clareb1970

    clareb1970 Type 1 · Active Member

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    I have also received pretty amazing treatment from the NHS, including many hospitals stays. If I'd had to pay for the 4 years of renal dialysis I received, not to mention a kidney transplant, followed years later by a simultaneous pancreas/kidney transplant, I would have been left destitute. I have of course worked all my life and paid tax and NI, but it was comforting to know that when I needed it, the treatment was there for me.
     
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  14. clareb1970

    clareb1970 Type 1 · Active Member

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    But here in England we have always paid for prescriptions, unless you qualify as exempt. It is quite unfair that everyone in the U.K. pays Tax and NI, yet only England pays for prescriptions. I would have though everybody should pay at least something, unless they have a chronic illness and require lots of regular meds. I could go on and also moan about English students having to cough up £9K a year for a degree course when Scottish students get their course for FREE!
     
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  15. serenity648

    serenity648 · Guest

    I agree (I live in Wales) However, Wales doesnt get extra money to pay for prescriptions, its all down to how a country chooses to spend the pot of money they have. And most of the time, we have double the length of waiting times for treatments in hospitals.
     
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  16. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    That's exactly why I prefer to keep the prescription charge. Nothing is actually free, it has to be paid for somehow.
     
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  17. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    At the end of the day, in England, those who can afford to pay for prescriptions and are not exempt do pay, and so contribute to the NHS fund. Those who can't pay usually receive them for free, those with multiple medications are generously subsidised, those with certain chronic conditions such as diabetes get them for free. Children, students and pensioners get them for free without a means test. Very few people actually pay.

    Quote from 2014
    http://www.pharmaceutical-journal.c...year-for-nhs-says-think-tank/20066348.article

    Some 1 billion prescriptions are dispensed annually in England, with around £450m raised from prescription charges in 2012–2013. The think tank notes that while 40% of the population are liable to pay the prescription charge, in practice 90.6% of prescriptions are dispensed free of charge.

    Of the 9.4% of prescriptions that are paid for, 5.2% are through cash payments and the remaining 4.2% are covered by pre-payment certificates, which provide a cap on the maximum people have to pay. These certificates cost £29.10 for three months and £104 for a year.
     
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  18. Jamesuk9

    Jamesuk9 Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Don't vote Conservative then, or move to a country with devolved administration.

    England can't have it all ways, it is the South East that voted these monsters into power.
     
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  19. Hoping4Cure

    Hoping4Cure Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    12% is nothing next to the medical bills you will get when if you get seriously ill (cancer?) and lose your job and then your health insurance. Bankruptcy will likely follow, after losing your house, life savings, children's college funds, etc.

    Doctors and hospitals make way more than most people do, and treatments are way more expensive than people can afford.

    Many type 1s suffer in the States due to drug costs and the costs of insurance. It is the reason why I didn't move there for work. I could make easily 150k / year if I lived there, but if I got sick and couldn't work, lose my insurance, ...uh no thanks. Too risky. I'll stay here in Canada where we don't treat sick people like an ATM.
     
  20. TheBigNewt

    TheBigNewt Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The drug companies rip off America royally (I worked for Pfizer before med school). Dig this: I work at a VA and theVA gets huge drug discounts on brand name drugs like Pradaxa (a blood thinner that retails for $250/month without insurance). They pay $43/month for it. But Congress made it ILLEGAL for their Medicare Part D drug insurance plan to negotiate with drug companies on prices for their enrollees. Figure that one out right? And by the way you don't need a prescription for the older animal based insulins in the US (regular, NPH). But you do need one for the newer brand names like Lantus and Novorapid. Go friggen figure!
     
    #80 TheBigNewt, Apr 16, 2017 at 12:06 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2017
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