Diabetes Drugs to be Sold Without Prescription?

I heard this on CNN last week and I have been thinking about it ever since. I just can't see how this would be helpful. Apparently this would cut down on trips to the doctor? I can't help but feel that this is going to become a huge problem with people skipping blood tests and picking up dangerous meds like they would purchase vitamins. Does anyone have any thoughts?

I'm betting though to still get them at your insurance's co-pay you will STILL need a Dr's prescription. Yes and no my opinion on it. I think as much as I dislike going to Dr's Im not paying the retail price of my Humalog out of pocket, The annoyance of going is worth getting the prescription so I can have my insurance pay the costs of my drugs. I do believe if I were without insurance I'd simply go back to using R and NPH and make do the best I can, because until there is a significant drop in retail price of drugs like Lantus/Levemir and Humalog/Novolog I cant see many people bypassing getting a prescription for it. I was told by my pharmacy if I simply wanted to pay out of pocket for my 70/30 it did not require a prescription, but to have my insurance pay for it, it did require a prescription.

Over the counter stuff usually isn't covered by insurance. This may be the real motive, an attempt to relieve us of our hard earned cash.

And its crazy depending on where you buy 70/30 insulin at I've seen it as cheap as 22 or 23 dollars and as high as nearly 40-50 dollars a vial. Walgreen tends to jack their prices up HIGH, where as Wal-Mart tends to be lower priced. So yeah just cause its older insulin's doesn't necessarily make them cheap either depending on where you are buying them.

Here is a link to the article.


This is very interesting because unless they lower the retail out of pocket cost for some of these insulin's HOW are people going to pay for them? My lantus was around 258 for a box of 5 pens, my humalog ran around the same price as well. Good income or not, that would hurt a lot of people financially. Especially for those who are more insulin resistent and inject like its water. Also I noticed how in the article they stated that it would reduce visits to the Dr, and the Dr's time could be spent on those who are more seriously ill. While yes I'm annoyed having to go to the Dr's so much, I also have a pretty strong medical background though, I KNOW when there are problems. Not everyone has that kind of background and really DO need to be seen frequently by their Dr's.

In most (all?) of the US, insulin(*) has been OTC, no prescription necessary, for a good chunk of a century. In only a few jurisdictions are the syringes prescription only and bg tests don't need a prescription either.

And I think that's a good thing.

(* The patented analogues excluded).

Yes Im just wondering by this article if they are included the newer analogues as well. Certainly here in VA I know R/NPH and 70/30 were all available without a prescription for some time. I could have my Dr write for them for insurance coverage at least 14-15 years ago I could still do that. The article was just very vauge in what they were considering making OTC but if they choose to include the newer analogues the out of pocket price is going to have to come down significantly to make that possible for most people.

But is n't that the usual problem : ...the Media being vague ??

Why should we need a Rx for insulin, it's like needing a Rx for water or air. A insulin dependent PWD should not be required to pay a doctor for the rest of his/her life for a yearly insulin Rx....at some point it should become a lifetime membership.

I agree but Im sure the reason why people go to the Dr on a yearly basis to get that prescription is so they can save a considerable amount of money on their insulin use. My husband and I have great paying jobs, with amazing benefits, we are exptremly fortunate to be in that situation but even so, If I had to pay retail prices for Humalog I'd be going back to some older form like R. THATS why people go to the Dr, these drugs are costly enough even with insurance. They HAVE to lower the retail pice otherwise WHATS the point, not many will be able to afford them.

This article doesn’t say what diabetes drugs are going to be made available to people so imaybe it’s oral meds like metformin? Additionally, just because something is available OTC doesn’t mean your insurance doesn’t cover it. If my dr prescribes Claritin or zyrtec my insurance still covers it. Same with my pen needles, test strips, lancets, and glucometer… And that all goes through my insurance’s prescriptio drug coverage not DME.
I think if you doctor writes you a script for something long term it should just be accessible to you all the time.

If I had to guess, they might start with metformin and then follow up with NPH and R. I don't think any of th modern basals or rapids would go OTC any time soon.

I use the generic of prilosec and have a prescription even though it is available over the counter. Simply offering OTC versions won't eliminate insurance coverage and may not even save money for those of us with decent insurance.


I don't need a prescription for insulin , test strips ...eye drops for glaucoma ( the old age type of stuff :) , thyroid , pump infusion sets ,osteroperosis a different story

I’m going to have to agree that at this stage they are probably looking at oral medications. What I found alarming was the mention of the use of kiosks to help patients self diagnose common diseases. Umm, Really? Although, the threat to my pocket is of concern to me as well; I would like some assurance that if it is available over the counter that it will still be covered by my insurance. As it stands getting a prescription is not difficult for me I just ask at one of my 4 appointments throughout the year or call it in and viola. I can also see the flip side of this for someone who is uninsured so it’s a toss-up as to how this might go down. My suggestion, keep an eye on this one.

Synthetic insulins have always been available without an RX - there may be laws in certain areas that require an RX, but there is nothing at the Federal level to stop you from walking into any pharmacy and asking for R, N, or 70/30, or syringes to go with it. The analogs have always been RX and I doubt that will be changing any time soon.

The article does NOT mention insulin at all.. I would presume it's about oral meds of some kind.

Yeah...it's probably oral meds. Thanks everyone. :)

To be honest if your not a diabetic what in gods name would you do with diabetes meds? I still can't believe and pisses me off that we are not documented diabetics in a database and should be able to buy any supplies we need without prescriptions. As Sarah stated you can buy R & NPH over the counter so why not the rest of them? The only thing that should really require a prescription IMO is the syringes. God forbid your out of town on run into trouble!

What john said ^

Being able to get meds over the counter might be good for the folks like us that understand their D and the meds they take. It would be nice to be able to pick-up what I need when I need it.

But I think that D meds OTC for the uninformed would be a disaster. In can imagine someone overdosing on a med because they think more is better. Doctors serve an important purpose in this equation. They know (at least they are suppose to know) what is best when it comes to dosing and type of med needed. The prescription requirement helps to regulate usage to the proper amount. Doctors are suppose know the risk and side effect of a med and how to use them safely.

Gary S

I agree with Gary. ")