Government shutdown leads to insulin rationing


Yes and it was So perfect that is why everyone is still on it right :joy_cat:please don’t lecture me about the “good
“ old days.


It’s a bit of a false dichotomy to compare something being not “so perfect” to the alternative of death


I specifically said “it wasn’t perfect.” But it also wasn’t harmful. And enough people are still using it that it’s still manufactured and available for purchase. And if I was in a situation where I couldn’t afford or didn’t have access to my modern insulins, I wouldn’t hesitate to go back. What is the option, death?


I have been thinking about this for several days. I had no idea you could get insulin over the counter for $25.00 at Walmart. Why would all people with diabetes know this? I used those insulin’s for many years without problems. I am sure that most folks would choose using those insulin’s in a heartbeat rather than risking death!

I am planning to find the nearest Walmart and buying a few bottles to have in the case of an emergency.


I am a TD2/celiac and am not on insulin; however, I am on a thyroid hormone replacement for life. I live in earthquake country. Along with keeping an inventory of water and food to last more than 30 days, I insure that my medication is well stocked as well (all the tips and advice provided in this thread are valuable). Financial or natural disaster, we should all learn to prepare for any event.


I also live in an earthquake zone and keep a month of all medications in my earthquake kit, and more at home. I also always have insulin with me as I’m often out of the house and use public transit, so I’d want at least a few days on me if an earthquake ever happened while I was on the bus or somewhere other than home.


I was on R/N for 20 years and had the scariest hypos of my life during that time because of the difficulty of predicting exactly when the activity curves were going to peak, how they were going to overlap, and struggling to restrict my daily schedule, activities and food consumption to the severe boundaries the regimen required. I think the N half is really the devil; Regular alone is not as big a challenge, particularly if you use it in a pump, which not everyone knows you can do.


I’ve referred to N as the “devil’s insulin”. Am I right, or am I right? :slight_smile:


The exact plans available under the FEHB will depend on geographical area and the chosen plan will depend on personal choice and may well have deductibles as described in the article. ESPECIALLY for example at the beginning of a year until the deductible is paid down.


I did, too. However, I wonder how much of this was the fact that I only tested four times a day back then. It wasn’t till I started on Lantus that I was advised to test after meals and eventually evolved to testing 10 times a day. Most of the lows I did experience, though terrifying, were caused by things like exercise or late meals. If I’d been testing 12 times a day back then (as presumably someone using these insulins today would do), I’m not sure I’d have such severe lows.

For sure anyone using the older insulins needs to respect them. Today’s insulins are much, much more forgiving of lapses and mistakes than R and NPH were!


again it’s for emergency use…

Although many people still use them very successfully, I’m not making the case that they’re an ideal replacement. I’m making the case that they are a very affordable option if someone finds themselves in a position to not be able to afford their preferred insulin. They’re much cheaper. And they will keep you alive. For sure. Even pre-mixed 70/30 would be fine. Nobody is saying that this is a convenience measure, it’s a measure to keep a financial burden from turning into a life threatening emergency… It’s an easy solution, some people just really want to make the case that it’s an impossible and unfair situation…

Ironically, that mentality is exactly what gives big pharma the leverage to raise the price indefinitely and far out of reach of the consumer. If the affordable alternative is unacceptable, even in an emergency— that by default means that the preferred option is infinitely valuable— and can be priced accordingly.


…as long as you’re very careful. :slight_smile: They did produce life-threatening lows for me and many others, those stories are not exaggerations, and that’s why so many people are scared of them. But I agree that they’re an option, if used carefully, if the only alternative is DKA.


Yes, all insulin can be dangerous and require caution, and of course if you’re using a less consistent insulin it will require even more caution. That goes without saying.

That said I defy you to find a Joslin medalist who didn’t use R and NPH for decades, and they weren’t even regularly checking their blood sugar.


The same deductible applies whether there is a shutdown or not. My point was simply that the shutdown did not affect their insurance benefit.


For sure the lack of a paycheck affects my ability to pay a deductible. Many of the lower cost FEHP plans don’t help at alluntil a deductible - often $300, $600, $900, or $1500 - is paid.


If the shutdown lasts months then that will change. There’s only so much in reserves to pay insurance premiums. There doesn’t appear to be any end in sight.

I suppose if it lasts months then there would be a number of other significant issues though.


But they are not making any money to for co-pay or food… that is the issue!


San Jose is now covering TSA agents’ pay during the shutdown. They are supposed to pay it back when they get their back-pay. I have my doubts San Jose will see the money, but whatever.


Though I have been in the position of living paycheck-to-paycheck, it is only logical to stash extra supplies of those items which are required to sustain life. Even today, I maintain a supply of insulin, CGM and food to last 3 months or more.
Remember “The Ant and the Grasshopper” - winter can come unexpectedly.


Very wise of you.:+1: