What do you do when you can’t afford your expensive analogue insulin this month?
The horrifying story of Shane Boyle made me wonder what the cheapest diabetes supplies for a month would be – I mean rock-bottom, what you would do if you had no other way to stay alive (beyond asking for charity).
This is what I found (no prescription required for any of it, except in one state,Indiana):
vial of NPH, for 2x day injection, no prescription required, $25/ vial (Walmart) - maybe 2x per month?
vial of Regular, for 3x day injection or more, no prescription required, $25/ vial (Walmart) -maybe 2x per month?
syringes (use more than once), 2x per day (one for NPH, one for Regular), no prescription needed if you buy a whole box: Box 100x Reli-on syringes, $17, (Walmart) 1x per month
Reli-on lancet, (only use 1 lancet per day) 100 lancets $2 (Walmart) 1/2 box per month
Glucose strips, 200x month, reli-on prime $17.88/100 (walmart), 2x boxes per month (that’s 6 per day)
For that, you need, as an upfront investment:
- reli-on prime meter ($10)
- Lancet device (about $10)
So, you would be out per month:
- NPH insulin $50
- Regular insulin $50
- syringes $17
- lancets $1
- Strips $36
Total supplies per month: $154
In addition, if you are a T2D and also need metformin or other oral meds:
- Metformin XR (once a day) $4/mo (Walmart)
- Glyburide/ Glucotrol/ Glimepiride (Sulfonylureas) $4/mo (Walmart) Be careful with them as they can make you low.
The cruel irony of Shane Boyle’s story is that I understand he was within $50 of raising $750 for that month of supplies
Note: here are some interesting comments on diabetes on a budget (PDF)
As a note, I often ill-speak of Walmart – but in this case, Walmart is a GREAT resource for people with diabetes.
End of wiki ---------- comments start here