Government shutdown leads to insulin rationing


And here’s another in which we actually explored how to afford insulin even with no insurance whatsoever. Conclusion— it’s entirely possible, just requires some legwork.


CJ114 has some excellent posts on the details about picking up a 30-day supply in Canada at:


Well, we should not (as a community) be spreading the idea around that insulin rationing is a reasonable solution. That hurts people who dont know any better. (just my opinion). I know that people need to vent their frustration re: broken healthcare.


Nobody is suggesting that whatsoever.


I didn’t re-read the whole thread to see if someone suggested rationing. mohe001, can you point to it?


@Dave44, I would have trouble pointing to something specific that suggest rationing is the ONLY way. I think people are posting great alternatives here. I guess that I have just seen a bunch of post re: rationing and I know that it occurs because I have, myself, done it. But, if thats going on, maybe we ought to work a little harder to prevent it somehow. I know people are trying in a variety of different ways. Anything helps, I suppose, but on the other side of the coin - if people are rationing, there’s been a failure and people need info how to avoid that set of circumstances because that sucks.


Are we talking “self rationing” or rationing in the marketplace? I for one always have a very adequate stash of insulin and don’t go to great lengths to save every “molecule” of it like some folks do when they say that when they purge their pump tubing–they place the set needle into the vial so as not to lose any when purging the tubing and set of bubbles.


I think we’ve been talking about almost entirely the opposite of rationing—- we have been talking about ways to make sure it is never ever necessary


I guess what used to more commonly happen to me is that I would djust flat run out and not have any way of buying more. I would quit eating or substitute bolus for basal - staying up all night giving small doses of bolus when I ran out of basal. I would qualify that as rationing. It was the pits.


A lot of the employees shut out of work or required to work without pay are low wage, some in high cost areas and living from pay check to pay check. $1K emergency funds won’t last very long covering food, rent and utilities, let alone medical.

For those close to the Canadian border, any of the insulins can be purchased in person without prescription. My first vials of FIASP were $30-35. Novolog, Humolog, etc. might be less expensive.


One more way to save a little more money if you use Humalog is to order cartridges rather than pens. Humalog cartridges are available in both US and Canada. Lantus is also available in cartridges, however, only in Canada which is why I drive from US to Canada to pick several month supply at a time (beside the fact that cost in Canada is about 1/10 of US list prices). If you use cartridges, you will need a refillable pen that takes the cartridges and they are available in most any country except the US. What is nice about going this route is that even the simple mechanical pens will deliver in 1/2 units and the digital pens in 1/10th of a unit which allows extreme fine tuning of insulin delivery. The cartridges hold exactly the same amount of insulin as the Kwikpens.


Humalog is $34CAD ($26US) in Calgary Canada. I’d guess Novolog is about the same.

Marks Marine Pharmacy is a great resource for purchasing insulin in Canada, where people aren’t charged a criminal amount of money for medically-necessary medications.

Humalog Insulin Vial (10ML) (ice pack, express-air mail): $47.99 USD
Novolog Vial ( Novorapid in Canada) ( ice pack, express-air mail): $47.99 USD

Marks Marine Pharmacy


I know this isn’t but a form like this is for but I would be happy to give a bottle of insulin to one of these federal employees. If there’s anyway to get in touch with me with their information & let them know that I’m interested, I can send vials of NovoLog. Unfortunately that’s all I have. Please advise?

Robin Parker
Manahawkin, New Jersey


Insulin rationing can be deadly. Please reach out for help. Here is a link established by Lilly. But we have other resources. Please reach out to me or others and we will try to help.



I hope insulin for all means insulin for Type 2 diabetics also… There is alot of ignorance toward Type 2 D when it comes to our insulin needs.

Whenever I needed insulin I just went to Walmart and go the R or N variety for $25 each here in California. Is that not available else where. no prescription. It is old school insulin but something is better than nothing.


Yes of course if there is no alternative you will choose not to die obviously. But we are not talking about that here. No one should be forced to use an unsafe or less safe insulin, all insulins should be inexpensive and easily available, so people can choose what is best for them medically. I barely survived mdi on newer insulins, so I would never use them or mdi agaun unless it were truly a no choice situation .Even on a pump with novolog it is not completely safe for me.


That’s exactly what we were talking about here… alternatives to rationing insulin when people find themselves in situations where they can not afford it.

I agree all insulin should be affordable to everyone, or even free. Hell even the latest and greatest like afrezza and tresiba. (Which imo make pumping insulin look far more like stone age technology than comparing analogs to r and NpH) But it’s not. That doesn’t mean the alternative that is available should be ignored or smeared or discounted as not a reasonable safety net.


Huh? Did you forget to put a #sarcasm on that?


We here as consumers of healthcare have finagled ourselves into a rather idiotic position… we’ve simultaneously insisted that the consumer has no responsibility to bear the cost of their care, and that we also want to have a lot of say in it… unfortunately that position is so absurd that we end up with the worst of both worlds.

Now here we are debating how the affordable alternatives don’t work. Is it any small wonder why the prices keep going through the roof? Don’t exactly have to be an economist to figure this out…