So, a while back, I tried canvassing here to see what various people’s experiences had been with purchasing insulin in person in Canada.
Turns out, the purchase experience was really similar to the phone experience. The first pharmacy I went to, I identified as American, said that consequently I did not have a national insurance card (sorry to my Canadian friends for hacking the parlance of that), and asked for 3 vials. The young lady behind the counter looked at me like I was an alien (okay, guess I kinda was) and said that she’d never dealt with that. She summoned the pharmacist, who was an exceptionally nice lady. She gave me 3 vials without any questions but couldn’t give me more. $38/vial of humalog.
I went to a pharmacy up the road where I presented with the same information. The pharmacist there (at a Wal-mart) was less-helpful. She told me I needed a prescription. I had one but didn’t produce it. I said that I’d called ahead and was told I wouldn’t require a prescription. Would viewing my PDM suffice, I asked her? She acquiesced. I politely requested 5 vials and she balked at that, informing me that they weren’t in business to service Americans and that they needed their supply for their own citizens. Direct quote. She also made an official account for me in their system. I assume this was in their Wal-mart system, but couldn’t be sure that it wasn’t some sort of national registry.
I ran out of time to try a third pharmacy in person. Suffice it to say, Mark’s is slightly more expensive and more to the point, is difficult to ship in winter when supplies and temperatures run low. I was grateful to have an in-person option but wished it had been easier overall.