Price of Insulin

Hello, I’m new to this diabetes blogging but looking forward to meeting fellow diabetics!
I have just arrived in Whistler BC from New Zealand. Am here for a season on the mountain, yeehaaaaa! I am currently using Humalog and Lantus 3.0ml Cartridges for my pen. In NZ our medication was subsidised, I enquired about costs for the above and was told for 5 vials I am looking at $100 is this for real??? (How do you survive over here!!!) Anyway just wanted to check that this is the going rate, have brought enough over with me to last for a couple of months but would be interested to hear the best/most economical way to acquire my supplies. Look forward to hearing your thoughts :slight_smile:

I once paid $150.00 for a bottle of Humalog in New York City. We pay a small fortune for our health insurance, and that means about $10.00 a bottle for my co-pay.

Welcome to our part of the world! Canada, as I’m sure you are aware, has a national public health care program. I’m not familiar with what Canadians pay but I’d bet it’s less than what we Americans pay. Canada can sell American-made drugs to its citizens for less than what we pay for them!

I can’t offer much info to compare with what you were quoted as I pay for my insulin as part of a 90-day supply that includes test strips and insulin pump supplies. My co-pay for the entire package is $67. The mail-order pharmacy lists the full price of my Novolog 10 ml. vials at about $79 US dollars each.

With the health-care reform debate raging in the U.S., I’m curious what your diabetes medical costs are in New Zealand. What do you normally pay for your supplies and to see your diabetic doctor?

Have a great ski season! By the way, some of my fondest memories are from a ski trip I took to New Zealand in 1983. I skied near Mount Cook using a helicopter to some of the finest skiing I’ve ever done.

Good luck with securing your insulin supplies at a reasonable cost.

It’s insane… that’s why most of us who have insurance are happy to have it!

I have manitoba blue cross which covers me 100% for a few months, then I have to pay for it for a little over a month until i reach my deductible at which point pharmacare kicks in and i’m covered fully again. As far as the going rate for insulin… i think my cartridges are about 170 some bucks for 5 cartridges

Would it be cheaper for a 10ml vial or two and syringes instead? Or you could be bad and transfer from the vial to the cartridges?

One small correction, Canada has provincial health care systems under a set of nationally set policies. Drugs are not generally part of this system, only hospital, physician care, and physician requisitioned testing.

So as a Canadian living in Ontario, I am under a different system than someone in British Columbia even though the rules are generally the same. If I move from one province to another I will become covered in that province after a period of 6 months.

For drugs, I am covered under private insurance through my employer and the government does not pay for any of this.

A visit to the doctor or hospital costs me nothing unless it’s for cosmetic surgery or other “non-essential” procedures. Strangely podiatrists are “non-essential”, but my annual eye exam is covered because I’m diabetic.

Just checked what insulin costs me… (or my insurance plan)

Lantus 5x3.0ml cartridge $113
Levemir 5x3.0ml cartridge $131
Novorapid 5x3.0ml cartridge $74
Apidra Solostar pens 5x3.0ml $61

I pay $260 for 3 months worth of lantus and apidra.

I live in BC and when I was working last year and making decent money I was spending $300 a month on supplies, including the same 2 insulin you use. Now that I’m a student and pharmacare knows what my income is (much lower) I’m paying maybe $20 a month. And also, even though I was spending $300 a month before I was able to claim it through my work medical coverage. If you can get coverage through a job or school that would help you. Or check with your travel insurance to see if that can help with the cost.

In Ontario, a vial of Humalog insulin (10ml) cost me about 30 dollars (Canadian) and no prescription was needed. I don’t know about pen vials. Can you check if it would be cheaper to switch to injections.

My guess is that the cost would be even higher in the USA.

Welcome Pip to one of the best ski locations in the world : Whistler , BC , Canada . Will you be in Whistler during the Winter Games ?? Lucky you :wink:
Please explain : how would it work if I as a person living in BC , Canada and went to New Zealand for 3-4 months would my diabetes supplies be subsidized /paid for ?
I recall , when I needed to see a Doc in Athens , Greece early nineties , because I had food poisening , I had to pay the Doc up front about US $ 200,00 for the 2 shots ( with those darn long needles ) he gave me . My extended health plan , through my employer paid us back .
Drugs are ( some partly) paid for in Canada 's provinces and territories …every province /territory is different , since health is a provincial , not a federal matter.Unfortunately it does matter, where one lives in Canada ; Canadian Diabetes Association Advocacy continues to work with governments to change this .
I purchased Novorapid insulin , ( after I have reached my deductable, this happened around July ) in October , 2009 and paid Can $ 11,83 for 30 ml ( ie 3 bottles ) …different for everyone depending in income .In my case Extended Health benifits will cover the $ 11.83 .Cost before BC Pharmacare payment $ CAN 90.36 for 30 ml .
I googled and found a chart for BC residents as follows at : -chart-bc.pdf , which shows which diabetes supplies are covered /are not covered. Hope you have travel insurance .
Have a wonderful healthy time in BC …was talking to my friend to night , who married an New Zealander .

my vails are aproximately $100 us each. I have no insurance though and my doc gets them for me for free from the med companies