Insulin purchases in Costa Rica

@Michel is asking about purchasing insulin in Canada. I don’t have answers there, but I recently went to Costa Rica with my son, and checked out a few pharmacies to see about insulin purchases. What I found out:

  • the government (some socialized medicine system?) distributes insulin for free to all diabetics, so no local buys insulin from the pharmacy is what I understood (but my Spanish is a bit shaky).

  • You do not need a prescription to buy insulin in a pharmacy

  • Insulin prices are cheaper than in the US. I bought a couple of Lantus pens and a couple of Apidra pens for $25 per.

If you multiply the price by 15 (for us a normal amount for 3 months), that would be $750 per 3 months for both basal and bolus insulin, a bit more than 1/3 the price in the US if you were to pay out of pocket I think.

But it appears to be a lot more expensive than in Canada, since @Michel was writing a couple of
months ago that someone had reported buying a vial of Novolog for less than $US 20


In fact, we went to one pharmacy in Samara that had no insulin at all.

1 Like