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Editor’s Note, Insulin Special Edition, November 2014

Nov 1, 2014

Last night I was in the pharmacy and a 22-year-old man came in with prescriptions for insulin, syringes, glucose meter, test strips and lancets. He had come by motorcycle and while he was waiting for his prescription he never took off his helmet or jacket even though it was 75 degrees in the pharmacy. 

He had a prescription for 70/30 Human insulin and was to use it 25u in am and pm. I assumed that he was a newly diagnosed type 1 patient and I started to talk to him about diabetes. We were only 10 minutes into our conversation when I found out that he had been diagnosed at age 17 but, because he had no insurance, had not tested his glucose in over 7 months and had not seen a physician in about 18 months. When I asked him about his insulin use, he admitted that he averaged about 4 shots a week and would often go a couple of weeks with no shots because he could not afford the insulin. The reason he was at the pharmacy was due to a hospital visit because of DKA, and our county indigent plan had extended him coverage.

This makes me think about how many others are like this young man and how, no matter how good our insulins or our delivery devices get, we could do a better job of care by just making sure everybody could get the diabetes treatment they need.