As far as safety goes as the reason, I don’t buy that completely. There are many dangerous things that one can buy and use inappropriately. The people that regulations supposedly protect are apt to kill themselves with a million different things in the first place. For most people a warning of “this will kill you easy if used improperly” is enough to make them think twice before using it without thoroughly understanding it. Also many times regulations are not truly designed for safety as much as they are designed to protect a market or company/companies profits. Perhaps a good in between to make people feel better would be some sort of certificate from a doctor that specifies that you need it. Then you just buy however much you need when you need it.
As far as insurance coverage goes, test strips don’t require a prescription, but you can get a prescription so it is covered by insurance. Also, the insurance system of payment is a horrible system in the first place, and contributes to many of the issues we have, but of course that is a much broader issue.
As far as the rapid acting insulins, I know Humalog’s patent has already expired, and I think Novolog’s has as well. I am not sure on Apidra. I know some of the long acting ones have expired too. As to the money that went into development, they almost certainly received a grant from the government, as well as likely from other sources to help offset the costs. Obviously not completely, but they have almost certainly made that money back a long time ago and the ever increasing prices definitely have little to do with R and D or production costs.