Like a number of other pharmaceutical companies, Novo-Nordisk has a patient assistance program for those who can not get or afford insurance, live at least 200% below the federal poverty level and can not afford to buy their medications. In my case, I qualify for free shipments of insulin from them in the form of Levemir and Novolog. I had been getting supplies once every three months shipped to my Doctor's office until now. The company is supposed to fax a re-authorization form to the Doctor's office a few weeks before new medication is needed, but my Doctor's office always tells me that they never receive these. So, every 3 months I end up having to schedule a Doctor's appointment just to get them to sign-off on the renewal form. I am not always able to get in before my supply runs out, so often I end up doing without any insulin at all for days or weeks at a time. I consider this my own fault though, since I should be paying more attention to when my supply is running low.
This month, things are different though. When I called their customer care line earlier this week I was told that no new supplies are being sent out for the rest of the year. The company's "shipping department" has shut down (not sure how long ago) and no new shipments would start being sent out again until after January 6, 2014. I was also told that because this situation is creating such a massive backlog, that it will actually take an additional two weeks after that before existing shipments are caught up with. Possibly added to that is the standard 7-10 days they usually add for "processing" and another 2-3 days for delivery to the Doctor's office, which doesn't always immediately contact me when a shipment actually arrives.
So, best case scenario is that anyone relying on the patient assistance program that has run out of insulin this week, or prior to this week, will go without insulin for 3-4 weeks. Possibly longer, depending on how far you are in back of the queue.
The program was recently changed from being handled in-house by Novo-Nordisk to being run by an organization named Cornerstones4Care. When I spoke to them by phone, they apologized for the situation and stated that everyone on the program was supposed to be notified of the shutdown beforehand, but that for some reason these notices did not go out as planned. The organization's call center will be open through the holidays as usual. Just nothing will actually be shipped.
For anyone interested in signing-up for the program, checking on the status of their supplies or to ask questions, you can still reach Cornerstones4Care at (866) 310-7549.
Just to get the question out of the way… I am posting this anonymously for good reason. I feel that I have a legitimate fear of losing my current supply of insulin if my identity is revealed. I hope that my identity will be kept confidential as promised.
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