In a pickle... suggestions?

Hello! My husband and I have a nephew w/ T1, diagnosed when he was a baby. My husband’s mother lives w the nephew and his mother. Mom has T2, and no insurance. (Too young for Medicare) Sister will often fill Mom’s prescription for Nephew so that he has enough insulin. Mom is doing without.

Mom lives in Tennessee, so her ID is a Tennessee State ID. She does get supplies and a Rx from her clinic in Tennessee, but with her grandson using her insulin, she is currently going without.

Lots of family drama with who is entitled to what - and I expect that will continue for some time, but the "pickle" here is this.

-Mom is staying with us for 1-2 months here in California.
-WalMart can't fill any more scripts for her because daughter in Tennessee filled them so Nephew has insulin.
-Mom can't get an Rx out here because we can't take her to a clinic without a CA ID card. (Am I right on this??)

No Rx, No in-state Drivers License.

Anyone have experience getting insulin without insurance and without local identification?

Thank you in advance for your ideas. Submersion learning sucks!


I’m not going to touch your personal situation between your mother and sister’s son fighting for insulin. However, you can absolutely fill a RX in ANY STATE as long as you have a government issued ID. This includes anything from the DMV, i.e. Drivers license or state ID card, or a passport. It would be silly if you couldn’t refill RX’s outside your own state because you didn’t have that state’s name on your ID card.
Really you do not need an ID (I have never been ID’d for insulin, only syringes) but you do need a copy of the RX and they may question why it was just filled and you are getting a new one. If that’s the case I would just lie and say the vial broke or it was lost and need a refill.

I am guessing that

a.) You’re talking about that you can’t take her to a FREE or sliding scale clinic without a California ID because that’s for state residents only, usually, and not a regular clinic… (cus anyone can go to a regular clinic, so long as they have insurance or money to pay for it.)

b.) That she can’t refill an RX anyway, because her nephew used up her RX that was supposed to be for her, anyway, but is getting used by a third party. If so, I believe this is against the law. :confused:

The nephew should probably use other programs to get his insulin… I mean, he could get in real trouble if someone gets wind that this is not right.

But here are some people who may help with insulin… Though she’s gonna need a script, and she can probably get one at an ER… which is a last resort, and it may cost… but people can usually apply for financial assistance to deal with that bill. Hey, I’d rather owe money than get very sick and risk my life. Just saying. Here’s the list of resources:

The Partnership for Prescription Assistance works with pharmaceutical companies, doctors, other health care providers, patient advocacy organizations and community groups to help qualifying patients who lack prescription coverage get the medicines they need through the public and private programs. Many patients receive free or nearly free assistance. Following is a list of pharmaceutical companies you can call regarding your particular medications as well as a state-by-state list of local assistance that is available.


Abbott Diabetes Care Patient Assistance Program

The Abbott Diabetes Care Patient Assistance Program offers assistance on blood glucose meters and strips to low-income patients in the United States. In 2006, more than 5,200 patients were approved for assistance at a retail value of approximately $425,000. We donated nearly 3,500 blood glucose meters and more than 35,000 boxes of blood glucose strips. For more information about this program, visit

Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Patient Assistance Program

Phone – 1-800-222-6885

Ross Medical Nutritionals Patient Assistance Program

Phone – 1-800-222-6885

Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Amylin Patient Assistance Program

Phone – 1-800-330-7647

AztraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP

AstraZeneca Foundation Patient Assistance Program

Phone – 1-800-292-6363

Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Sanofi-Aventis Patient Assistance Program

Phone – 1-800-221-4025

Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Bayer Patient Assistance Program

Phone – 1-800-998-9180

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Bristol-Myers Squibb Patient Assistance Foundation, Inc.

Phone – 1-800-736-0003

Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly Cares

Phone – 1-800-545-6962


Bridges to Access

Phone – 1-866-728-4368

Commitment to Access

Phone – 1-866-265-6491

Johnson & Johnson

Health Care Systems Patient Assistance Program

Phone – 1-800-652-6227

Merck Patient Assistance Program

Phone - 1-800-994-2111

Merck/Scherling-Plough Pharmaceuticals

Merck/Sherling-Plough Patient Assistance Program

Phone – 1-800-347-7503

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation Patient Assistance Program

Phone – 1-800-277-2254

Novo Nordisk Inc.

Novo Nordisk Diabetes Patient Assistance Program

Phone – 1-866-310-7549

Pfizer Inc.

Pfizer Helpful Answers

Phone – 1-800-706-2400

Pfizer Bridge Program (Endocrine Care)

Phone – 1-800-645-1280

Pfizer Pfriends Savings Program

Phone – 1-800-706-2400

Roche Laboratories Inc.

Roche Laboratories Patient Assistance Program

Phone – 1-877-757-6243


Sanofi-Aventis Patient Assistance Program

Phone – 1-800-221-4025

Scherling-Plough Corporation

SP-Cares Patient Assistance Program

Phone – 1-800-656-9485

Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.

Takeda Patient Assistance Program

Phone – 1-800-830-9159 or 1-877-582-5332

Together Rx Access

A free savings program sponsored by Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers, Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, members of Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis Group, Takeda and TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc.

Phone – 1-800-444-4106


Hey Dana,

If I were closer, I’d just meet you and give you a vial. I live in the Sacramento area.

Check out this previous discussion.

What Jessica said is right.

A vial of Regular costs about $30 or $35 here in Sacramento area, but Humalog and novalog both cost between $100 and $120 a vial out of pocket, even at Walmart, so without insurance, that is probably what I would be using. I am not sure what NPH runs these days, but it used to be comparable to Regular. You don’t need ID to get Regular or NPH, but you do do get syringes. I know they will let you get them out of state, because I have bought them in Florida, Texas, and Nevada within the last 2 years using my CA ID. = ) I sometimes travel unprepared. Just get the syringes with the insulin, and they never care or look at you funny.

Good luck, and I would look into what DWQ said above if it were my nephew. She gave some great info.

You can order R and NPH from any number of online stores ( is amazing) without an Rx.

Do you no any friendly doctors that you could hit up tell them “My Mother is diabetic and forgot to renew her prescription before coming out here and just used up her meds” might be able to get some samples or a new one time use script. I am in the opposite boat but in a positive way, my mother gets a 6 month supply every 3 months and my parents insurance covers supplies at 100%. I have yet to be asked to show any ID for syringes they just ask for my birthday and heck my wife has even picked the up for me. Also might want to check local diabetes group around you or take her old ones in to pharmacy play dumb about not having any more refills ask to call doctor and say they lost the meds. If you have any Kroger;s(Fred Meyer’s) around you they just started filling Metformin(sp) for free.

Sooooo - update! Thank you all so much for your thoughtful and insightful info.

The race was on to get to the script here in California before SIL got it for her son in Tennessee.

Sis-in-law said she was going to have Rx filled in Tennessee, but she didn’t. So we made a run to WalMart and we were able to get her Rx filled. We were expecting that we would have to pay cash, and were ready to fork over $114 for a single vial of Novolog. My biggest worry was short-term, that she’d be without an Rx if it was filled in Tennessee first. The downside is that MIL and Sister-In-Law & Nephew still live together. While I’m sure there are lots of legalities on who can use which prescription, the biggest issue is dealing with the drama of having MIL and SIL fight over the insulin. Drama along with caregiving. Ick.

I was blessed in quadruplicate. We ended up with some sort of insurance stuck in the system that Mom didn’t know she had. We were filled 4 vials of Novolog, and 1 of Lantus. The 4 Novologs ran us $112, and the Lantus was $12. We don’t expect to be this lucky again, but this at least gives us a month to come up with a game plan on how to get Mom a script that SIL does not have access to. In that time, we can take care of Mom and get her power-of-attorney back.

After a dramatic and grueling weekend, I’m happy to report that through careful meal planning, Mom stayed at 130-145 yesterday without entering any info into the pump. I did lots of sugar-checks and kept each meal low carb.

My next goal is to figure out how to get Mom on a decent plan for reduced or free supplies.

Thank you Diabetic Welfare Queen for the super-informative list. I plan to use this diligently in my next steps!