How to get free diluent from Lilly

I have posted some stuff before about diluting insulin. There are a lot of cool things that you can do with it. Like for example my micro-dosing pen that lets me give 0.10 units. (You can read Alex O’Meara’s article about it on ASweetLife, where he spoke to me and actually used a picture of my micro-pen https://asweetlife.org/the-unmet-need-for-diluted-insulin/)

Anyway, you can get free diluent from Lilly Pharmaceuticals, and it does not require a prescription. All you have to do is send them an email, it’s that easy.

Here is the email address to use:
lilly_distribution@lilly.com

Specify the amount, the pharmacy or doctor’s office address to use, and the Lilly product code shown below.

Here is what to send them:

I would like to request some diluent for my Lilly Humalog insulin.

I need X vials of the diluent.

Item code ND0800 <=== [that’s ND’zero’, not ND’oh’]

My pharmacy address is:

Pharmacy Name
Pharmacy Address
Pharmacy Phone #

A couple of notes:

  • No prescription is required! Just ask for it and you can get it!
  • They will not send it directly to you. They will only send it to your doctor’s office or pharmacy. I just have them send it to my pharmacy, it’s easier that way.
  • They will not put your name on the box they send to the pharmacy (no matter how much you ask them to!). So you need to call your pharmacy and let them know it is on the way, and then check with your pharmacy a few days later to pick it up from them. It’s very quick. It only took 5 days from the time of my email until my pharmacy got the shipment.
  • You can get whatever amount you want (as long as it isn’t crazy, like 5,000 vials :roll_eyes:)
  • The diluent is designed to mix perfectly with insulin. Although they don’t say it, Lilly diluent will also dilute any rapid insulin like NovoLog, not just Humalog.
  • The diluent does not need to be refrigerated. It says it only needs to be refrigerated after opening.
  • The diluent expires in one year (but of course, in reality it would last practically forever).

Lemme know if you have any questions.

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What would be a reasonable amount to request? 10 vials?

That would not be a problem for them. I got 24 vials last time.

BTW, I can send you some if you want. But I wanted to post how to get it, since it is very easy.

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It’s OK! If I can get it easy enough by writing an email, I’d rather get “freebies” from the people who rob me frequently, if possible!

Awesome write-up!

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Just to be clear, you don’t even need to put your name or patient information into the email at all? Also, will they respond to the email that they’ve received the order and are processing it? Or should you just assume they’ve gotten the email and go ahead and call your DR/Pharmacy?

I put my name and my phone number in the email, but they didn’t put it on the package they mailed to the pharmacy. When I called the pharmacy they said, “Glad you called, we were wondering what that box from Lilly was all about!” :grinning:

Same thing happened last time, they just mail it without any reference to me. So just call the pharmacy after a few days and let them know.

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All done! I’ll let you know how it works out. Already sent the email and called the pharmacy to let them know they should be on the lookout within 5 - 7 business days, and told them that it was for my son, Liam.

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Wow, very fast! I just received an email confirmation from Lilly, with an actual confirmation number. Very cool.

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How do you think you might use it? Dilute a pen? Dilute a pod?

I have actually used it in both pens and pods before.

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I’ve been researching micro-dosing pens…I have some novolog pens that I could fill up the vials with the diluted solution, but I’ve not gotten that far yet. I do know I want to try it in the hopes that it can prevent some of the nighttime lows where a tiny amount of insulin is needed…even less than the .05 lowest dose I can give. Diluting would provide the potential of giving a smaller dose than .05.

I’m sure there are scenarios I should (or could) use it that I am not thinking about right now, too.

It will take some experimenting and testing for someone so small, but the sooner I figure it out, the sooner it can be another tool in our toolkit.

I haven’t used NovoLog pens. Are those easy to refill?

BTW, to be accurate with making your own “mix”, it is best to start with an empty vial. You can buy them very cheap.

If you use a vial that once had insulin in it, it is harder to get an exact dilution, because you can never completely empty the vial to start with.

And also, a vial of insulin may say 10ml on it, but in actuality, that means “you can get 10 ml out of this, it might have more”. It general, insulin vials have a bit more so you can pull out the full 10 ml. I was surprised to find there is a great deal of variation in how much insulin is in a 10ml vial.

I’d suggest starting with an empty vial and adding the insulin and diluent to it, just to be precise.

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I’ve read on some other forums that Lilly will also send you empty vials if you ask them? Have you ever done this?

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No, I have only purchased them since they are so cheap.

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I can definitely see diluted insulin being used to provide much softer landing for Liam. Definitely not afraid to try it out…that’s what we’re here for! Learn and grow.

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Everything I’m reading, though, from Novolog indicates that no diluent should ever be used with a pump. Is this one of those things they say don’t do only because they’ve not gone through the FDA testing to get it approved?

Just got a response about the vials also. Here’s what she said:

===========================
Please see the information below on how to order the vials.

Ordering, payment, and shipping will be handled by a third party distributor directly with you. You can contact the distributor directly at 1-877-411-7249. When speaking with them please inform them you are interested in purchasing empty sterile vials, manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company. Please be ready to provide the following information:

Name

Shipping address and billing address (if different)

Phone number

Method of payment.

===========================

…so definitely doesn’t sound free to me. Looks like the option you provided will probably be the cheapest solution at $1.59/vial.

I think it has a few components to it.

FDA approval of course is one factor.

But also you would have to double (or whatever dilution amount you are doing) the dosing and basal. For example, if you made your insulin 1/2 strength, and you bolused for a meal, you would have to make sure you had your brain together so you don’t accidentally give him half of what he needed. And then if you switched back to non-diluted insulin, you have to make sure you don’t give him more than he needs. There is a human factor for error there.

I have used diluted insulin in my pump, but I had a different PDM I used, which was setup specifically for the diluted insulin. I had it labeled, and I had all my settings on the pump specifically for diluted, so I didn’t make any mistakes. Basal was multiplied, and the bolus preset amounts had a note in the name so I would see it whenever I dosed.

I think that is the biggest risk factor - the human element.

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Yeah, I’d definitely only use with syringe/pen - at least until I figured out the whole dilution process, measurements, dosing strategies, when to use it and when not too, etc.,

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It’s definitely cost prohibitive to order the “single vial” from Mountainside-medical (it often is.) Cost breakdown is below:

After adding a single vial to the cart and starting the check-out process the shipping caused the price of a single vial to go from 1.59 to 6.43 (even with a “Cently” coupon of .15 cents savings applied.) However, If you select the 25 vial order, the end cost (with the Cently coupon savings of 3.59 applied (cost code =
“SM10”, if you don’t use Cently), the total cost for the order is 37.39. So, that’s equates to a per vial cost of $1.49.

This is the cheapest vial solution I could find. I found vials on Amazon (Prime item) - a 10-pack for 15.99, and since it’s a Prime item, it’s got free shipping. That equates to 1.599/vial.

Definitely the most cost-effective option to purchase the 25 vials from the link you provided. It’s more expensive up front, but savings over the long term (if you plan on using 25 vials.)

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Is it this one?

BTW, don’t forget to take air out when you are filling the vials. Everything is backwards! :grinning:

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