The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Dump Glumetza and hang their reps.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 8:32 pm on Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Got anybody on Glumetza?   Have you checked their price lately?  Ya might want to consider that.  I just had my patient refill his Glumetza and it seemed awfully strange that the price basis for his claim went from 715.00 ( already stupidly expensive for metformin) to a whopping 4200.00!   Yes Four Thousand dollars for a one month supply of glumetza.  I checked the cost in our wholesaler and sure enough the bottle was $6333.00. His insurance rejected the claim as cost exceeds maximum and declined to override it.

enough already. Whose idea on a conference room table brought that to fruition?

Check your records.  Call your patients. and hang Glumetza out to dry.

 

49 Comments »

Comment by Melody

July 8, 2015 @ 9:20 am

I am having this issue now. I’ve tried and tried and tried to find out why such a significant price increase in such a short amount of time but can’t find anything! Do you have any knowledge of why this is happening with Glumetza? Any ideas for substitutions? I take Glumetza because metformin er kills my stomach and causes a lot of embarassing issues.

Comment by pharmacychick

July 8, 2015 @ 9:21 am

Short of calling the manufacturer no I dont. But it’s totally unacceptable.

Comment by T. Reed

July 14, 2015 @ 4:59 pm

I went to walgreen’s to pick up my glumetza prescription today, a 30 day supply was $1200.00. A huge price increase over the last 30 day refill. I will let my doctor know that I need a new prescription. I also plan to call to the manufacturer to let them know I will find a replacement for their over-priced drug. A price increase like this is totally unacceptable.I agree!! Hence my rant!! 🙂

Comment by Loren Pechtel

July 15, 2015 @ 11:00 am

It looks to me like there is a generic of this. Is this the manufacturer pushing the price high and then offering big rebates to states so they’ll use it on their medicaid formulary?

Comment by Bob

July 16, 2015 @ 6:06 pm

The company that makes Glumetza, Salix pharmaceuticals, was acquired by Valeant pharmaceuticals, who then raised the price of Glumetza by 500%.

Comment by Lee

July 29, 2015 @ 12:28 pm

I just went to refill my RX. Insurance won’t cover it and they wanted me to pay $5000 for ONE MONTH. I called Valeant to find out why they increased the price. They would not answer. They merely offered to do a “benefits review” that will take 48 hours minimum. I paid $50 (copay) to purchase 12 pills to get me through 6 days. While I do have adverse events from Glumetza, I’m literally allergic to all other forms of Metformin, so this is all I can take. Take a look at Valeant’s profit margins… AS SOON as they purchased Salix/Santaurus they jacked the price. This is despicable and a direct attempt to capitalize on sick people who are dependent upon this medication. I am totally disgusted and emailed both Fox and CNN about this. We might want to do a petition against them for price gouging.

Comment by Lee

July 29, 2015 @ 12:32 pm

Sorry – evidently, they do this with cardiac patients, too! EVIL!

http://www.wsj.com/articles/pharmaceutical-companies-buy-rivals-drugs-then-jack-up-the-prices-1430096431

Comment by Rae

July 31, 2015 @ 10:49 am

What about a class action suit or something? I just had that shocker today also and I am beyond angry….check out the co. the CEO makes BIG BIG BIG bucks

Comment by Wayne

August 10, 2015 @ 8:19 am

The wholesale price just went up again. We bought a bottle of 1000mg on 1/9/15 for $1085.00. Then on 7/16/15 it was $6512.81 and now on 8/9/2015 a month later it’s up $3200 more dollars to $9769.21. This is criminal.

Comment by Denny

August 14, 2015 @ 1:26 am

I also have Crohns & metformin causes lots of gastric issues and Glumetza does not.
My co pay is 900.00 a month ! Guess I will deal with my side effects.
This is obscene & should be illegal !
I would sign any petition &/or a class action law suit against these immoral
drug companies !

Comment by Sarah

August 21, 2015 @ 9:06 pm

I am in the same boat. I can’t tolerate regular metformin – it destroyed my stomach (with lasting effects) and my blood sugar would crash and I would pass out. Glumetza was a life saver. I’m all for capitalism, etc. but these big CEO types need to remember that there are real people who need the drug. Could we do a class action lawsuit?

Comment by Cherron W

August 24, 2015 @ 3:42 pm

I am having the same issue as well. I too have lots of gastrointestinal issues with Metformin and asked my doctor for an alternative and she prescribed Glumetza. It was denied by my Aetna insurance due to costing over $5000. I was able to get samples from the doctor to last until now, and I’ve had no stomach issues. Aetna is supposed to override the denial, but I’m afraid of what my co-pay for it will be. I didn’t know there was also a Metformin ER. Does anyone know if this generic works just as well?

Comment by Pam

August 27, 2015 @ 9:28 pm

The reason they are doing this is because they lose the patent in February. So there will be generics. According to a board of directors meeting held in July they raised it because this is what companies do “when they lose a drug. The fact that they are doing this to the very people who made them rich is highly immoral. You could only file a class action suit if you had damages. That is if you took regular Metformin and had a big GI bleed from it then you might be able to sue especially since they failed to give adequate warning to people using it. Or if they had adverse effects from not filling the Rx when they were totally out on a weekend when they can’t reach the dr.

Comment by bobdog

September 3, 2015 @ 6:09 am

Don’t we still have a RICO law?

Comment by Barbara

September 12, 2015 @ 8:19 am

I got a call from Walgreens after my Dr called in a RX for Glumetza informing me that the price would be $1362.30 for a months supply or $1630.29 for a 3 month supply. I almost fainted. I am on Medicare and gave AARP as a supplement I don’t have that kind of extra money. I also ended up in the emergency room after taking Metformin ER. I tried taking it both times and I cannot take it. I looked in to buying it from Canada. For 200 tablets the cost is $195.00 it is sad what America has come to

Comment by Valeri Groesbeck

September 22, 2015 @ 6:58 am

Is the price increase due to the patents for Glumerza expiring in 2016?

Comment by pharmacychick

September 22, 2015 @ 7:15 am

No. I think it was due to an acquisition and greed

Comment by Sabrina Tavernise

September 25, 2015 @ 2:35 pm

Hello. I’m a New York Times reporter looking into drug price increases. I’d be interested in speaking with any of you who posted here. Sabrina Tavernise – sabrinat@nytimes.com

Comment by A. Augustine

September 26, 2015 @ 9:00 am

I too have had to fight with my insurance company to cover my Glumetza script. It was being denied because the price had jumped astronomically, over $6K a month! I found out that even some of the generic forms of this medication have had their prices driven up. I cannot take metformin due to the really bad side effects.

Comment by herbert martello

September 28, 2015 @ 8:14 am

In Germany Hitler marched his seniors to the gas chamber. In America we simply withdraw needed medication for the elderly.

Comment by K. Jones

September 28, 2015 @ 9:23 am

My Glumetza was $685 for a month supply in June. July it went up to $4750. August went to $6270….still for 1 month…..Totally ridiculous if you asked me but what can you do…..NOTHING! My doctor put me something else that seems to be working OK so far.

Comment by Ellen

September 28, 2015 @ 7:23 pm

I was shocked by the cost increase of Glumetza. My insurance will no longer cover it because of the cost. I’m now on Metformin XR which is causing me massive gastric side effects. I did extremely well on Glumetza for several years. Metformin doesn’t control my diabetes as well.

Comment by Stephanie

October 2, 2015 @ 8:01 pm

I am thoroughly disgusted by the fact a company who is already making millions, continues to drain a person who NEEDS this medicine for medical purposes to make an extra buck to line their greedy pockets. I am now faced with switching to a medicine that will cause me additional medical problems or completely discontinue use and suffer. It makes you wonder how the evil of this world can sleep at night. They should be held personally responsible for the health problems they are causing thousands of people.

Comment by Dr. Sethuraman Subramanian

October 4, 2015 @ 5:55 am

USA is not a socialistic country. So you can’t control drug prices by ordering companies. The drug companies know what they are doing—trying to make the most by any means. Only when people stop buying their products they will shape up. But if one drug is needed without alternatives you are out of luck. There is no class action question on drug prices. Only if a drug causes serious side effects or death class action lawsuit can be thought of. It is not capitalism alone that is evil. Within that umbrella there are some unconscionable operators (CEOs) who maximize their own compensation (by writing their employment contracts in such a way). It is people like these who bring a bad name to an enterprise.

Comment by Amanda

October 7, 2015 @ 7:30 pm

All I the above comments are so true and all too familiar. How can a drug go from $1200 in January 2015 to $28,000 in October 2015. How can we as Americans stop this nonsense and get these prices to decrease. I feel helpless and as though my hands are tied!!!!

Comment by Young Sally

October 13, 2015 @ 11:13 am

This price increase is unconscionable. I had been able to get the scrip for $5 with a discount card at my retail pharmacy, but my insurer….or actually my PBM…insists that I use mail order…so the card will no longer be honored and my copay goes to $175 for 90/days….certainly not the worst situation….but frankly still outrageous.

I too have not had success with Metformin XR….in my case, the problem seemed to be whenever the pharmacy switched generic providers, the new in-active ingredients left me unable to digest the tablet…. a total waste. If I could be certain that I would get the same Metformin generic (ideally Barr Lab’s) each time, it would be fine….but a lot of these generics are questionable at best.

Comment by bobdog

October 19, 2015 @ 5:18 am

The way you “order companies” is to vote with your feet.

I was taking Glumetza until July, when the price increase took effect. Even though my insurance covered this drug, I was infuriated. I am at a loss to explain this kind of predation.

I discussed it with my doc and switched over to Metformin ER, which is the same drug as Glumetza. As a matter of fact, metformin has been around since the 1920’s. The only thing different with Glumetza is the delivery mechanism. Metformin ER does the same thing, release the drug slowly over a period of hours.

I had no reaction to Metformin ER, so I had my doc switch my scrip permanently. I will not reward this kind of predation as long as I have an alternative.

Comment by Michael

October 26, 2015 @ 1:05 pm

My mom got hit with this bs…was paying 220/mo for 60 tabs of 500mg @ CVS and then, overnight, it went to 3200 for the same thing.

She can’t take any of the alternatives or it sends her to go live in the bathroom (if you know what I mean).

Got pissed off and just ordered (for the 1st time) from an approved Canadian CIPA Pharmacy (I’m in the US) and got 200 pills (more than a 3 month supply) for $200/shipped.

Same maker, same medication.

Not only is this a life saver, it’s 60% cheaper than what we were paying before everything went to hell in a handbasket.

Oh Canada, Oh Canada….

Comment by Carolyn

November 3, 2015 @ 2:22 pm

I too have had to fight with my insurer over this. I was taking Glumetza with a copay of $5.00 per month and over night it went to over $750.00. I tried the generic metformin for over a year with horrible side effects. My doctor placed me on Glumetza and it was like night and day. As soon as I was told the amount from CVS I went home and phoned the insurance company. They made my doctor fill out a bunch of forms pertaining to the side effects I was having, then openend a case. Of course in the end they said no and that I had to try a third drug Fortamet, which is the brand name for metformin ER for $75.00 per month and they will review my case at a later date. This is crazy. I have such horrible side effects that it almost sends me to the ER. I am at the point of not taking anything and living as long as I can. The drug companies are killing us.

Comment by Nell

November 5, 2015 @ 1:13 pm

I just got hit with the price increase. Mine went from $5.00 for a 90 day supply to $192.00 for a 90 day supply.

Comment by Anthea

November 7, 2015 @ 9:19 pm

Hi! I am from Down Under. the cost price of controll-released metformin 500mg for pharmacies to buy in is less than $5AU for 120 tablets…. I can’t believe how much you guys are paying for such a cheap drug. The drug company is mad with greed

Comment by Christine M. C.

November 11, 2015 @ 1:33 am

Over $10,000 for a one month supply of Glumetza!!!! It was already exorbitantly priced at $470/month with insurance!!! This was the ONLY drug that helped regulate my system without causing horrible, all time consuming, painful side effects. Valeant’s greedy price gouging of the sick should be illegal. They are forcing so many people to suffer needlessly. I want the names and contact information for the approved Canadian pharmacies AND I want a class action suit to force this to become a generic drug! We need this to be able to live and work as productive members of society. Putting us in the hospital for lack of this drug is not acceptable. Bankrupting us for this drug is not acceptable. I’m furious!And you should be. thats why I wrote this blog bit. Its unacceptable on any level in my opinion

Comment by Mike W.

November 12, 2015 @ 9:54 am

I have had the same problem, but a friend told me about Canada Drugs and they have a Glumetza mfg by Biovail with a price of $112.77 for 100 pills, which is not the same color but is supposed to not be a generic. Can you help me understand this? How can the same drug be manufactured by 2 different companies and be different in color. Is it the same product?nnear as I can tell Glumetza does not have a generic manufactured. Of course that may be a US Restriction so I would do some research before i plunked down any money on that. You could be getting a fake. Also you want to be SURE that you are dealing with a legit canada pharmacy. there are a lot of “Canadian” pharmacies that are fake and send drugs from Bangladesh, and places like that.

Comment by Elena Lamberson

November 12, 2015 @ 10:32 pm

Walgreens says 90 tabs of Glumetza is $12,043.00!!! ~$133.33 per pill.

I can likely go back to Metformin ER but I wish there was something we could do to those $#@% people in that drug company!

Comment by Dean Showalter

January 5, 2016 @ 8:42 pm

From Walgreens last night, 1/4/16: 90 tabs, 1000mg (a 45 day supply)=$12,024.99!

Dr. reordered Metformin, which I have been on since 1998, at a 90 day supply (180 tabs), cost=$0.00.

Something needs to be done with these bean counters making medical decisions. F^*k the shareholders profits.

Comment by Jack

January 9, 2016 @ 2:51 pm

I mean I could actually put for a decent effort into maintaining a healthy diet and getting at least and hour or moderate to high intensity exercise each day but instead I’ll be lazy and bitch about cost of meds cause I have freedom to be lazy just as manufacturer has freedom to set price of their product. We need coomunism in America to fix this . Freedom is bad. Government control of business is good.

Comment by Pam

January 13, 2016 @ 3:02 pm

You can have your insurance company send an exception form to your Dr. and you can get Glumetza free. I’ve had to stop my Glumetza because my Dr. is now concerned about my kidney function…please keep an eye on your blood work! Now if I could sell my Glumetza I’d rich!!!!

Comment by Tina

January 13, 2016 @ 6:25 pm

I just tried to see how much Glumetza would be to refill. Guess what, a 90 day supply was $22,000. Yes, you saw that right. And since I have a high deductible I would absorb a few thousand of that cost. This is completely unjust. Glumetza is simply a coated metformin. Metformin is used around the WORLD to treat Type 2 diabetes. Who has the right to be so outrageous about pricing a very useful and widespread drug? Seems like I will need to go back to Metformin ER, the generic.

Comment by michael stone, md

January 28, 2016 @ 7:46 pm

I tried to get “prior authorization” for Glumetza for a patient. My request was denied for spurious reasons. She had originally been on Metformin, but reacted very badly to it – with vomiting, burning in the abdomen, cramps, and diarrhea. But when she switched to Glumetza, she tolerated this coated form of Metformin very well. But without authorization, the monthly price would be $3,000, whereas last year (early 2015) the drug was much cheaper and affordable. Obviously, it didn’t get more difficult to manufacture Glumetza. The problem is simply one of shameful price-gouging by the drug company. If only the company were as intolerant of shame as my patient is of their product!! Years ago when I was diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes, I too was intolerant of metformin (I was hospitalized 6 times in the emergency room for violent stomach cramps and diarrhea, before I realized it was from the metformin. But when I notified the company, they refused to acknowledge that it was their drug that was making me sick). Only someone like Warren Buffet could pay for Glumetza without flinching. But he is a smart man: he would buy the company out and market the drug at an affordable price so the average person could manage it. But Buffett is a man of honor, not a thief like the company higher-ups who rape the public with outrageous pricing.

Comment by Tim

March 16, 2016 @ 4:18 am

Greetings all,

I was doing a search on the cost of Glumetza after having experienced sticker shock myself. I am currently on Glumetza and take it because of the severe intestinal issues I had with Metformin. I wanted to pass along a site that might help some of you who are on Glumetza.
The site is BigMountainDrugs in Canada. I am able to get a 90 day supply for $158. They are very friendly and the turn around for orders is usually less than 10 days. Still not a co-pay but better than the sticker shock of 1000’s for a 30 day supply.

Tim

Comment by jim

July 11, 2016 @ 5:58 am

to tim,
are these Glumetza pills from canada the real brand name. Do they come in the factory bottle?

Comment by Dew

August 2, 2016 @ 3:17 pm

I have been taking glumetza for 8 years. The generic metformin with the extended release coating is a big fat FAIL. I have been having pretty bad side effects from the genetic, extended release or not, which is why I take glumetza. Someone is greedy.

Comment by michael

November 8, 2016 @ 6:54 pm

I use canadianpharmacyking.com, which is CIPA certified. I’ve refilled a 90day supply of 500mg tabs 3 or 4 times with no billing or deliver issues. Currently, 200x 500mg tabs are $200/delivered to the US.

These are the real deal (same shape and size as what I had from CVS) but the markings are a tad different and they are white instead of the blue in the US supply chain. This concerned the hell out of me with my first order, so I called US Valient customer service and spoke to a representative. They were very understanding (they know the price jumped) and they confirmed for me that the white color is correct for Canada.

No, they do not come in a factory bottle. The pharmacy gets these in bottles of like 1000x pills each and so they have to be divided up for each prescription.

My mom’s been on these for over a year (with several doctors appts) and all is well in the blood tests and in the bathroom (if you take this, you know what I mean).

Comment by michael

November 8, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

If you read:

http://bodyandhealth.canada.com/Drug/GetDrug/Glumetza

It describes the pill and markings that are sold in Canada (m 500 or m 1000 and white in color) vs the blue versions sold in the us.

Don’t worry – nobody is out to hurt anyone.

Cheers!

Comment by Diane Northup

February 7, 2017 @ 9:23 am

I am very concerned my copay for my glumetza er
Was to be over 1400.00 so I cancelled it my dr ordered
Metformin Er I am so concerned about the side effects

Comment by Diane Northup

May 8, 2017 @ 2:06 pm

So my glumetza showed up 3 month supply no cost now refill time denied denied denied

Comment by Richard Grand

August 11, 2017 @ 10:22 am

I stumbled across these postings because I recently realized that taking two 1000 mg Glumetza per day now adds up to about $1000 Canadian $ per year in Canada ($800 USD).

I am amazed at the cost of Glumetza in the USA. At $133.33 USD per pill my yearly cost would be $97,331 USD !!

I was looking for a way to reduce the cost but it appears that Metformin ER may or may not work for me. I will get a trial and see what happens.

Comment by Alicia Madeka

September 19, 2017 @ 1:45 am

I have been on Glumetza for several years now. When I first started taking the meds
I was on Metformin, but like most of you, I had terrible, embarrassing side effects so my doctor prescribed the Glumetza which worked fine. I noticed the price started going when my copay went up several months back. Now, I just received a letter from my insurance company today (Anthem/9-18-17) that they will no longer pay any coverage for it and if I want to continue on it, the expense would be all on me! This seems like the same problem that the EpiPen had when its price skyrocketed due to greed. If anyone wants to go in on a class action lawsuit, please count me in!!

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