Shockingly Out of Control

I very recently learned something truly shocking. In the USA, (save in Indiana) one can buy insulin without a prescription.

You can listen to this NPR piece here.

As a ex-physician, I can’t fathom something so dangerously stupid and irresponsible than that. Dosing insulin without monitoring can easily damage nerves, kidneys, foot that can end up in amputation, lead to stroke, accelerate eye deterioration and blindness. It is worth noting diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the Western World.

Why would health authorities, the FDA in particular, do something so reckless?

They won’t say publicly.

But I am willing to bet my bottom dollar the number of people without affordable health insurance has a LOT to do with it.

Just to be sure, I called some pharmacies and asked how much would it cost me to buy insulin without a prescription. The non-prescription one, older kind, less reliable can cost as low as 10$ per vial. The new, more recent and reliable? Up to 300-400$ if you do not have health insurance.

Here is the supreme irony of this whole mess: the strips that goes into the device one needs to monitor their blood sugar? They WON’T sell them to you without a prescription anywhere.

In a word, no way to monitor the blood sugar, which is the key to limit the ravages of diabetes.

The stupid burns!!


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