Freestyle libre without prescription

Hello I’m in the USA for few months and forgot my libre at home… Can someone explain why a prescription is required if I pay cash (no insurance)… This is rediculous, it’s a device not médecine!

Does someone have libre for sell or know how I can purchase some without prescription?!

Thanks !


A prescription was required in Jan this year when I purchased Libre, out of pocket, in U.S… My insurance does not cover.

In the USA, the FDA has the legal authority to regulate medical devices as well as drugs.

Perhaps this is different in other countries.

The reason the Freestyle Libre system requires a prescription in the USA is because the FDA says it does. The actual FDA approval order goes more in depth and may answer your questions.

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A very general rule for this - and by no means official - is that anything that is delivered under the skin needs a prescription. Things that are not delivered under the skin, or the delivery mechanism, do not need a prescription.

A vial of saline for injection needs a prescription, but saline eye drops or nasal spray - which is basically the same thing - does not need a prescription.

A CGM which resides under the skin does need a prescription, but BG test meters do not.

Insulin does, but syringes and pen needles do not.

eBay has some Libres. But eBay does not authorize their sale, and will pull them down, so jump on it quickly.

Thanks for the answers :). Someone have livres for sale? Have 2 days left on them and the ones on eBay are double or triple the price they get sold at wall Mart !

We don’t sell stuff here. That is not allowed.

How much did it cost to get a prescription??

I would just go to a walk-in urgent clinic. At least in my neck of the swamp that would be fast, effective and relatively cheap.

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About $75 at a walk-in nurse clinic, in most places.

So for those that cross the border into Canada to save on their insulin, is the Freestyle Libre also available OTC without a prescription?
If so, does anyone have any pharmacy operators that they would endorse?

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No prescription is required for the libre or Dexcom in Canada.

I really do not understand the FDA requirements.

I live in Canada. I do not use a libre but my understanding is they are ordered online from Abbot and shipped to you. I do not think they are in pharmacies.

Dexcom, I just order off the Dexcom Canada website and they ship to my house. You can also order from a Dexcom Canada 1-800 number.

So this may make it more difficult as the sensors would need to be shipped to your hotel/where you are staying.

And on the libre abbot says…

Canadian FreeStyle Libre readers and sensors work together exclusively to meet Canadian compliance requirements. FreeStyle Libre readers from other countries are only compatible with sensors from the same country

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Libre sensors are only sold online for the time being, but generally everything diabetic-related is OTC in Canada. You can buy any insulin, pump supplies, a pump, a CGM and/or supplies, needles, syringes, test strips, whatever, all without a prescription. So far I’ve not read any news reports of non-diabetics abusing Humalog or scanning their Libre sensor too many times, but time will tell…


As of fairly recently, Libre is apparently available at most pharmacies, though it may need to be ordered in.


I’m pretty sure the US is the only country that requires a prescription. At least based on what I’ve heard. All other countries seem to treat CGM/FGM the same as glucose meters, meaning no prescription required (unless you want insurance to cover it, if lucky enough to have a plan that covers sensors, then you do need a prescription)

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I think that’s true. I think you can buy it everywhere in Europe without a prescription. At least in the Netherlands (and as long as Abbott doesn’t have supply problems) and regulations in other EU countries probably don’t differ that much. Health insurance policies do differ a lot though, so whether it’s covered really depends on the country.


So in other words, if one were to walk into say, a local Canadian Walmart pharmacy, or any other pharmacy for that matter, they would probably NOT be able to walk out with a reader and a couple of sensors?
They would need to make arrangements with that pharmacy in advance so that they would have them in stock?
Not quite as straightforward then, as walk-in insulin purchasing…

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I think they are now able to order Libre supplies, but the prices will be higher than online. You’d be better off just ordering in advance of your trip and having it sent to your hotel, air bnb or wherever.

That pretty much confirms my conversation with a Canadian Walmart pharmacy today.
They don’t keep them in stock, so only available as pay in advance.
Initial outlay for 2 sensors (14 day) and reader in Canada 266USD Initial outlay for 3 sensors (10 day) and reader in US $211USD

(which by the way, most US Walmart pharmacies do stock them)

and monthly sensor outlay of $208USD and $131USD from Walmart pharmacy in Canada, and Michigan, respectively.


Thanks for doing the legword @DaveJ, really helpful stuff.

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