From Michigan, USA:
I am a type 1 diabetic and I use a Humalog and Lantus regimen. I am healthy and understand my dosing very well. I count my carbohydrates and monitor my blood sugar, plus I exercise on a regular basis and all is well, that is, until I need to refill my prescriptions. I am currently a temporary employee with no insurance and no healthcare provider, but I visit a clinic at around six month intervals for blood tests, etc. The problem is when my prescriptions expire. Every nurse I have talked to refuses to write a prescription without a clinic visit. I have experienced this from the hospital/staff where I had gone for 20 years until I lost insurance and, again, from a low income medical clinic where I've been in the last six months. I've even gone a few rounds with a nurse at a clinic of a family friend, one who helped diagnose me so long ago.
If I self-medicate and adjust my own dosage, why am I required to go have a clinic visit where a doctor tests my reflexes and asks me if everything is all right before I can get my medications? I am very serious; usually, the doctor asks me why I'm there! Is it even legal for these nurses to refuse me the medication? Apparently my "file" has been marked because I have refilled twice, as a favor, without a recent visit.
Lastly, what if I have broken my one and only vial (the one prescribed as a favor), and I call to get another and I'm told "Sorry, not without a clinic visit. We have an open slot available in three days." I know, simple solution...clinic visit but, believe me, that is not as simple as one might think. I am very frustrated. When will I be able to buy Lantus without a prescription?
In many states, you can buy regular and NPH insulin. However, in almost all states, you cannot buy the new insulin analogs. The idea behind the restrictions is that insulin therapy and diabetes require medical follow-up. I do not think it is safe to have patients self-medicating with insulin. The same principal applies to other medications and other diseases. I would hope that you could make those appointments offered. In a lot of clinics, the staff will provide prescription support for the time between contact and the scheduled appointment. This allows you to get your medication, but it does allow for you to have extended supplies without appropriate medical follow-up. Although you might have had experiences where you received very little feedback from the providers you saw, there is a large amount of information that should be collected and reviewed in the care of people with diabetes. The information ranges from how you are doing with your insulin regimen, to the follow-up for your eyes, kidneys, and heart, to routine medical issues such as blood pressure and Pap smears.
Original posting 19 Aug 2006
Posted to Insulin Analogs
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:08
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