FDA: Allow people with type 1 diabetes to get insulin without a prescription
My name is Jennifer Sue Cauldwell. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 6 years ago. I have a doctors appointment with a new endocrinologist tomorrow. I haven't seen my old one for a while since I moved. Today I forgot my last insulin pen at work and the jobsite shutdown before I realized it. My blood sugar started going up from my afternoon snack. My last endo only gave me a couple refills which are now used up. I've never had an endo give me a long term refill. Hopefully the one I meet tomorrow will be able to help me with that. So I had a couple of options. I could go to an urgent care doctor and wait several hours to get a rx with no refills, then go to a 24 hr pharmacy and wait how ever long that took, or I could buy the only short acting insulin that you can buy over the counter. Option 2 please. I've cried several times over similar situations. Like when the pharmacy had a problem refilling my Lantus for a week and a half. They requested authorization for a refill from my doc who denied it without explanation. This song and dance got real old after the first time. Novolin R is not my regular insulin, but it is the only short acting insulin available OTC. And there isn't a long lasting insulin sold over the counter. I take this one (Lantus) in the evening. If it broke or I accidentally ran out too soon, etc, my only option at 9pm would be to go to the hospital. If I was poorer than what I am I probably would just deal with the consequence of high blood sugar until the next day or until my body forced me to go to the hospital. The time it would take in a hospital ER even if were free is almost worth not going. It also isn't cheap. I wish pwd(people with diabetes) didn't have to go to a doctor if they misplace, break, run out of insulin, or get a bad batch, it froze outside, etc. Luckily I only have to wait til tomorrow morning to get my insulin and a new script in the afternoon. It would have been really nice if I had a long term refill or if I could just buy humalog otc. Yes, it is good to see your doctor about your diabetes, but over the years I've learned, out of necessity, to be pretty aware of when and how to adjust my own insulin. There were a few exceptions and guess what I did. I made an appointment. People with type 1(insulin dependent diabetes) shouldn't have to jump through so many hoops to get the medicine to keep them alive. Any doctor would say that the most important person in a diabetes care team would be the person with diabetes. Only that individual has the ability to use knowledge to manage his/her diabetes... If they have the opportunity to get the lifesaving medicine they need. Normally I have backup insulin, but I figured that I was going to the doctor so soon that I'd take the risk and just go to urgent care if I needed to. Darn it. Please help people with type 1 diabetes to get their medicine so that we can be healthy. If you need insulin, you need it, and I don't need a doctor to tell me or to waste both of our time so that he can write chicken scratch on a piece of paper telling the pharmacist what we all know. I still need insulin. Now my blood sugar is a little high after dinner. I am not sure how to predict this insulin as it is not what I normally take. I think I'll take my Lantus a little early (20 minutes)to help it go down sooner. Please tell the FDA that people with type 1 should have access to their insulin without a prescription every 3-6 months. It would help make our lives a little easier. Diabetes is hard enough. Thank-you very much for taking the time to read this e-mail.
Jennifer Sue Cauldwell