1 in 4 pwds cut back their insulin doses


#1

Some people have begun to cut back on their insulin use and ration dosages due to increasing prices for insulin, this is unacceptable and tragic.

This is scary to read!


#2

Mila- These kind of stories just break my heart! Every time I hear about someone not being able to care for themselves due to cost, it’s horrifying. This poor mother and many other family members have lived this story. Why can’t we as a nation get this right?
I thank God I have good coverage but I think about my insulin needs and am grateful that I don’t need a lot. And I think of those people who take 100’s of units daily. How do they do it?! And I can see how a young man can believe he can make it work because he has to pay rent, car payment, college loans, insurance, utilities oh yeah and food. I can see it but still can’t believe this is where we are at.


#3

There is no rational reason for the cost of insulin . Big Pharm makes big donations to politicians to keep them in line.


#4

Isn’t it a lot cheaper from a Canadian pharmacy?


#5

Yes, but most people don’t know that (including me until recently). Tresiba is over $500 cash price in the US and about $200 plus shipping from Canada. Most fast acting insulins are $40-$80 in Canada and over $300 in the US.


#6

Before I went on Medicare at age 65, I did buy my insulin from Canada. It was much cheaper even though the U.S. prices had not skyrocketed yet at the time. But I had problems with quality deterioration in shipping… from extreme cold in winter and heat in summer. This was before they started to package the insulins adequately for shipping. At the time there was the fear that the U.S. government would interfere with the shipment because it was against the law. The irony was that the insulin was exactly the same as the stuff that was beyond my means to buy here… same stuff made by the same companies. Just cheaper… totally insane!


#7

Ask your doctors for insulin. My doc gives me as many bottles as I want, every time I have an office visit. I never have to bother with getting it from a pharmacy.


#8

While I know human insulin is not likely as easy to make as other pharmaceuticals - aren’t we past the generic time frame? Any chance a generic version could be coming?


#9

Human, as in Humulin, as in R & N? The answer is yes and there are generics that are much cheaper (get 'em at Walmart) than the analogs–Humalog, Novalog, etc. For the analogs, you’re right, it’s much more complicated to reproduce exactly what the non-generics do, or at least much more complicated to get them certified as such, so generic versions have been slow to emerge, perpetuating the lock the big manufacturers have on pricing. The one exception so far is Basaglar, which is a generic version of Lantus.

Pretty good article here, though it’s a bit old (2016):

(It does contain this infuriating sentence: “[The analog insulins] worked a bit better than unmodified human insulin, and were less unpleasant for patients to use.” Well, if “less unpleasant” means you didn’t have to be as afraid of the medication you were using 24/7/365 to stay alive, then yeah, but as someone who experienced that anxiety for 20 years before moving to the analogs I think it would be fairer to say “less dangerous.”)


#10

I would like to boycott humalog


#11

Can someone explain why animal insulins are not available anymore? They contained some of the other hormones such as c-peptide that protects the micro blood vessels in the eyes, kidneys and hands and feet, thus reducing the likelihood of those complications. Maybe even the vagus nerve. Seems to me that those insulins would be much simpler and less expensive to produce. There must have been something dangerous about them. Can anyone tell me what that was?


#12

Googled and found my answer here:

https://www.diabetes.co.uk/insulin/animal-insulin.html


#13

It’s hard to use Regular insulin as a primary bolus insulin, unless you’re eating very low carb. From what I understand animal insulins had an even slower onset and longer duration, meaning they were very inflexible for most people. There are people who swear by them and claim they were superior to human insulins. I believe them, but I think this is a very vocal minority and that for a majority of people human insulin was beneficial and analogs make life far more flexible and easier.


#14

Thank you for you reply. What puzzles me is what is it that makes our body’s insulin almost instantaneous in action while all the external insulins available have slower times for onset.


#15

Because it goes right into the blood stream. Injections are into fatty tissue which slows absorption. Which is why pre-bolus can be your best post meal blood sugar tool!


#16

I knew that. But I thought there might be some other factor or hormone at work too. I guess not. Thanks for the reminder. :roll_eyes:


#17

Regular insulin binds with itself and has to unbind (someone with a science background will know the right terminology) when injected which makes it act slower. Analogs solve this problem but are still slower due to being injected subcutaneously. Also the immune system destroys some of the insulin when injected and other issues at the injection site can affect absorption.


#18

Like others have said, subcutaneous vs directly excreted into the blood stream. But you can get a much faster effect by intramuscular injection, which some people do to knock down a persistent high. Great article on the whole issue of speed, absorption and intramuscular here:


#19

Thank you DrBB for directing me to Gary Scheiner’s article. He is greatly valued by me. I knew about injecting into muscle but have never tried it. Frankly, have been afraid to. But the air diffuser is novel to me. Had never heard of one. Do they still exist?

This brings to mind the encapsulated implantable beta cells that are being tested. These are placed subcutaneously so would not really have the onset speed of endogenous insulin. And inhaled insulin works so much faster because it is absorbed through the lungs directly into the blood stream.

Thank you all for clarifying. And I apologize for taking this thread into a different direction than the OP intended.


#20

Me too–had to follow up on that one. “InsuJet.” Only available in certain countries, not including the US or Canada.