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75Janice
Total Posts: 44
Registered on: ‎04-30-2010

Januvia May Be Too Expensive - Alternatives

I've been on other oral medications. Starlix is the only one I can tolerate. Recently, my md added Januvia. Within a week, I experienced serious abdominal pain. It was working. She decreased it to 1/2 tablet a day, hoping I will acclimate better to a full dose. I like the Januvia without side effects. The problem is the cost. It costs me more than $200. for a 30 day supply. My budget is tight. I want to cry. It is one thing to read about drug affordability or watch segments on the TV news. I worked hard for certain credentials but this economy is killing me. My doctor is insistent that the Januvia is worth ior 3 certainly beats new clothes or a vacation. My doctor can't seem to understand that can't afford means can't afford.

 

I telephoned the Medicare Part D insurer to ask for a tier exemption. I chose one of four policies that do not allow tier exemptions. Has anyone else encountered this problem with a md? I'm not asking them to cry for me. I have no clue what my options are. Also, I have no idea how much I must scrimp to have the needed funds. I don't have much discretionary money.

 

I exercise once a day. Perhaps I should exercise 2 or 3x. Basically, I want to know what is feasible and what my options are. My income is not a bottomless well. I live on private disability and Social Security. I no longer have a top legal income. I doubt that I am alone.

Trusted Contributor
morrisolder
Total Posts: 10,546
Registered on: ‎11-28-2009

Re: Januvia May Be Too Expensive - Alternatives

one half-baked idea may be that since you are finding a half pill works for you, k3eep the prescription for the full pill, split the pills and make it last for 2 months... Although that only cuts the cost in half, and is nothing like a $4 generic, sometimes you can get away with that for a long time...

Morris

Diagnosed Type 2, with an A1c of 11.4 in 2003; averaging a 5.0 A1c since then with diet, exercise and Glipizide XL + meds for blood pressure and cholesterol. 
A bit dated, but scroll down on this page if you want to know more ...


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realtxjack
Total Posts: 1,598
Registered on: ‎11-08-2009

Re: Januvia May Be Too Expensive - Alternatives

[ Edited ]

Most pharmaceutical companies have some sort of hot line for people with cost issues.  They may be able to help lower the cost.  You might also get a discount to have the Januvia delivered by mail instead of via a pharmacy.

 

Go to the Januvia web site (Click here) and click on the Prescription Assistance button on the left side of the screen.

 

Cost is the big drawback to this particular drug.  After the anguish I went through with meformin, Januvia was a blessing.  Still, it's hard to look at those $4/mo WallyWorld prescriptions for metformin and not be jealous.

 

Type 2 - complicated by surgery for pancreatic cancer
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75Janice
Total Posts: 44
Registered on: ‎04-30-2010

Re: Januvia May Be Too Expensive - Alternatives

I did telephone the Part D insurer concerning costs. If I had paid only a bit more in premium, I would be eligible for a tier exemtion. It would be billed as a Tier 2 drug rather than Tier 3. I had the same problem iwth Starlix but on anothe rplan I qualified for the tier exemption. It should  be noted that cusomer service only informed me about tier exemptions after a twenty minute conversatoin. The rep mentioned it as an aside. Looking back, I never telephoned the manufacturer. Normally, my income is too high to qualify for prescritption assistance.

 

Am I correct that insulin may be cheaper? Of course, next year I can find an insurance plan that will grant me exemptions. This plan was highly recommended by the state survey of consumers. 

 

Thanks for the tip. I doubt I will qualifiy but a phone call is easy.

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75Janice
Total Posts: 44
Registered on: ‎04-30-2010

Re: Januvia May Be Too Expensive - Alternatives

I called Merck which is local. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I do qualify. The patient part of the application is already completed. Tomorrow I will drive to the my md's office so that you can fill out her part. There is no proof of income required! My mood has changed. It highlights how crucial the community here is. 

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ronaka
Total Posts: 950
Registered on: ‎12-24-2011

Re: Januvia May Be Too Expensive - Alternatives

From a functional point of view Starlix (or Prandin) plus metformin would be a good replacement for Januvia. That is if you can take metformin.

Ron

Not a doctor, only another T2 diabetic with, unfortunately 11 year experience. Be cautious about accepting advice, including mine, on medical conditions from the internet. It can be a good place to get ideas, but validate them with your doctor and other medical professionals first.