Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Hassle of Acquiring Insulin

The past few years has been more challenging in getting insulin. When I was 18 and living on my own, I had my
prescriptions for both types of insulin and they lasted longer than a year. One day, when I went to the local pharmacist to get a refill, he told me I would have to go to my doctor and get one. When I asked why, he said it was the law that prescriptions had to be renewed every year.
   I have not yet found the law that corroborates that statement. That does not mean there is not a law that states that, it's just I haven't found it yet.
   Back to the subject at hand. Getting a yearly renewal wasn't that bad. And it is still not that bad. If I forget to get my renewal and I'm out of insulin (which rarely happens), I pleasantly discovered that I can get a bottle of Humulin R over the counter to last me until I can see my doctor. No prescription needed. Hooray on that! I am not sure if that ability is across the board or is limited to states. Here in Oklahoma it is okay, but when we move to Minnesota this week - who knows?
   But, now doctors are giving me insulin prescriptions with six refills at the most and this phenomenon has been going on the past three years. I buy insulin every month whether I need it or not to ensure that I do not run out. I explain this to whomever is writing the prescription and I ask that they give me 12 refills. Some doctors comply with my request and others do not.
   One doctor gave me a prescription with three refills. THREE! This is something that I need for the rest of my life. You know, in order to live. When I asked him to give me more refills he said no because "I like to check on my patients."
   That pissed me off to no end. First off, he was a general practitioner. I have 27 years of Type 1 diabetes experience under my belt. As far as I am concerned, I know more than he does as to when I need to be checked. Unless you have been a diabetic for longer than I have or are an endocrinologist, I am going to continue to think that way. His desire to check on me was nothing more than an effort to get me in his office and transfer money from my bank account to his.
   Maybe I am the only Type 1 who is getting super annoyed at this. I find it idiotic. I have no problem going in once a year to get a renewal and the necessary tests done. For a long time, I only needed to get tests done once a year and I still only need to do it once a year.
   This needs to change. If a diabetic is out of control, there is probably a need to get the patient in the office more than once a year. If not, then that diabetic should be able to live his or her life in peace knowing that insulin is readily available without jumping through expensive hoops.

P.S. This will be my last blog post for a while. I am packing up my computer today for the move.

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