Amazon said Tuesday that the automatic coupon feature for its online pharmacy will be extended to insulin, providing a way for people who purchase online to reduce the cost of the lifesaving medication.
Medication made by over 15 insulin and diabetes care brands will have coupons automatically applied through Amazon Pharmacy, according to the retailer, including companies such as Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, Sanofi, Dexcom and Insulet. You can find discounts on vials, pens, continuous glucose monitors and more, as coupons from the participating drug manufacturers will automatically be applied at checkout so you don’t have to go searching.
There are some restrictions, however. If you receive health care benefits from a government program like Medicaid or Medicare insurance, you can’t use Amazon’s coupons for insulin, the company said. You also can’t use the automatic coupon feature with RxPass, Amazon’s monthly subscription program for Prime members to get cheaper generic medications or with the Prime Prescription Savings Benefit.
Insulin is a necessary medication for the millions of Americans who have diabetes. The price of insulin has been notoriously high and a barrier to access for many people. This year, the federal government called for a $35 insulin cap for some Americans, and manufacturers including Novo Nordisk, Sanofi and Eli Lilly have announced price cuts. California announced a state plan to make its own, cheaper insulin.
According to 2017 research from the American Diabetes Association, $1 out of every $4 spent on health care in the US is from someone with diabetes.
How to use the coupon to find cheaper insulin
Start by searching for a medication on Amazon Pharmacy. If your medication is eligible for a coupon from its manufacturer, coupon details will be highlighted in green.
If you’re eligible for the coupon (you won’t be if you receive state or federal aid, including Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Affairs benefits, Amazon says), the coupon will be automatically applied at checkout. You don’t need to attach a promo code or search for a discount yourself.
You do not need to have a Prime account to use the Amazon Pharmacy service, unlike the subscription service for generic medications.
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Other resources for people with diabetes
You can find coupons and discounts from other pharmacies on medications, including insulin and diabetes care, from places like GoodRx, where you can search for the medication you need.
The American Diabetes Association has a resource page for people with diabetes, including contact information for major insulin manufacturers if you have a question about your medication. Manufacturers may also have patient assistance programs for eligible patients who can’t afford their medication.
There are also program services available to help patients find resources, as CNET sister site Healthline reported, including organizations such as Getinsulin.org and the Medicine Assistance Tool.
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Correction, 8/6 at 3:10 p.m.: A previous version of this story erroneously the requirements to use the Amazon Pharmacy service. Customers do not need to have a Prime account to use the service.