In the United States, more than 7 million people rely on insulin to treat their diabetes, according to America’s Pharmacy. And the high cost of insulin is making it difficult for a growing number of patients who are dependent on insulin to maintain adequate supplies.
Typically, there are five types of injectable insulin available, with several other less common options, such as:
Rapid-Acting Insulin: It acts within 15 minutes or even less, peaking in 30-90 minutes and lasting for nearly four hours. Common rapid-acting generic insulin medications include:
- Generic Insulin Aspart (Generic Insulin for NovoLog)
- Generic Insulin Glulisine (Generic insulin for Apidra)
- Generic Insulin Lispro (Generic Insulin for Humalog)
Short/Regular-Acting Insulin: It has an onset of 30 to 60 minutes, peaking in two to four hours and lasting for up to five to eight hours. Common short or regular-acting insulin includes:
- Generic Novolin R
Intermediate-Acting Insulin: Having an onset time of one to three hours, this type of insulin peaks within eight hours and lasts for 12 to 16 hours. Common intermediate-acting insulin includes:
- Generic Novolin N
Long-Acting Insulin: This type of insulin is designed to control your blood sugar levels for a longer period of time, even an entire day. It is typically taken once daily. Common long-acting insulin generics include:
- Generic Insulin Detemir
- Generic Insulin Glargine
Ultra Long-Acting Insulin: This insulin type is less common and takes six hours to work but it does not peak. It may last for more than 36 hours. Common examples include:
- Generic Insulin Degludec
- Generic Insulin Glargine U300
Others: Other types of insulin include combination or pre-mixed-insulin and inhaled insulin, such as:
- Humulin 70/30
- Novolin 70/30
- Afrezza (inhaled insulin)
Most of the abovementioned insulin generics are now available. You must check with your doctor before switching to generic insulin to manage your diabetes.
The average cash price for most brands of insulin climbed substantially between 2014 and 2019, according to GoodRx, but it has dropped nearly 6% over the last year.
Newly approved generic insulin lispro and generic insulin aspart have provided more affordable options for patients, while retail prices for others like Afrezza continue to rise.
Since 2019, the overall price of different types of insulin has declined – thanks to the recent approval of generics. In 2019, Eli Lilly released the first generic insulin lispro, which is bioequivalent to the popular insulin Humalog.
Generic insulin lispro and generic insulin aspart are nearly 50% cheaper than brand Humalog and NovoLog, respectively, according to GoodRx.
As we are talking about cheaper generic insulin, Novo Nordisk’s Novolin ReliOn is sold at Walmart for just $25 a vial, that too without a prescription. This generic insulin Walmart ReliOn includes short-acting, longer-actin, and biphasic insulin – a combination of the other two.
You can check America’s Pharmacy for more information on generic insulin pricing and options. It is accepted at more than 62,000 pharmacies, including some of the major drug store chains and independent pharmacies.
Generic insulin syringes and vials are usually the least expensive option. However, generic insulin pens and pumps have been more convenient than syringes and vials. Insulin costs continue to rise, but there are some resources that can help you fight diabetes. Dedicated websites like GoodRx and America’s Pharmacy work on your behalf to help you buy generic insulin as well as generic oral diabetic medications from regulated sources.