Walmart launches low-cost private insulin for diabetes patients

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Walmart has launched a private brand of analog insulin, the company announced Tuesday. The insulin injection, manufactured by Novo Nordisk, and FlexPen, offered through Walmart’s ReliOn brand, will be available in the stores' pharmacies this week.

The company claims the new offering will reap significant savings, at about 58% to 75% off the cash price, or $101 per vial or $251 per package of FlexPens .

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"We know many people with diabetes struggle to manage the financial burden of this condition, and we are focused on helping by providing affordable solutions,"  Dr. Cheryl Pegus, executive vice president, Walmart Health & Wellness, said in a statement posted Tuesday. "We also know this is a condition that disproportionately impacts underserved populations. With ReliOn NovoLog® insulin, we’re adding a high-quality medication for diabetes to the already affordable ReliOn line of products and continuing our commitment to improve access and lowering cost of care."

Over 34 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, with 1 in 4 unaware of it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include age, family history, smoking, weight, poor diet and insufficient exercise.

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The new private label injection is available in Walmart pharmacies this week, the company said. (Courtesy of Walmart)

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The private label  ReliOn™ NovoLog® Insulin (insulin aspart) injection will also become available Sam’s Club pharmacies in mid-July. The medication is meant to control high blood sugar in children and adults battling diabetes, and requires a prescription. Patients should consult with a physician over decisions regarding treatment and diabetes management, Walmart said.

"Diabetes often comes with high medical costs, estimated around $9,601 per person per year. We welcome all affordable solutions that make diabetes management more accessible to millions of Americans living with diabetes," Tracey D. Brown, chief executive officer of the American Diabetes Association, said in the release. "We encourage everyone to ask their health care provider questions to better understand what the right and affordable treatment is for their unique medical needs."

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