Diabetes Medication Management, How to Lower the Cost

Diabetes medication management is expensive, so a lot of diabetics simply do without. But there are things you can do to lower the cost.

Right now one in ten people in the U.S. has diabetes. In 2050 perhaps one in three people in the U.S. will have the disease.

So diabetes care is big business. Diabetics spent twice as much for diabetes medications in 2007 as in 2001.

That does not include medications for things that go along with diabetes, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Type 2 diabetes treatment is one of the fastest growing businesses in the world.

But only one out of every four diabetics is getting all the recommended treatment, and the main reason is the high cost.

Lower the Cost of Care

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For type 2 diabetics, the best diabetes medication management is lifestyle change. It does not matter how long you have been type 2 diabetic. I am proving this.

By beginning to exercise and getting educated about healthy eating habits I have seen a drop in weight and in the amount of medication I take.

So you can change bad habits. If you smoke or if you eat lots of fast foods, you can quit. It will work.

Those things can remove you from a prediabetes status, or if you are already diabetic you can come closer to the day you control it with diet and exercise. This is the only  type 2 diabetes cure right now.

The best part? Lifestyle change is free. Even if you need help losing weight, a gym membership is much cheaper than medications.

Do you want to exercise at home but do not have equipment? You might try an interactive program. You can run, walk, stair step, dance, play tennis and go bowling right in front of your TV.

Save On Medications

New drugs for diabetics come out every year. But most of them are simply new versions or combinations of older medications.

Studies show that the older drugs are just as effective as the new ones for diabetes medication management, and some have fewer side effects too.

The greatest advantage of older drugs is that they are now generic. Places like Walmart have put some of them on their $4 prescription list. Generics are the bargain of the prescription world.

One example is Glucophage, or metformin. It is the most prescribed drug for type 2 diabetes treatment. The generic version costs less than $5 a month.

If you do not have insurance, the cheapest place to buy diabetes supplies is at Amazon.com.

Shop carefully and read the small print so you do not get stung by shipping charges. Many sites ship free.

Prices on line can be half what you would pay at a pharmacy.

Drug Companies

You and your doctor can deal directly with the drug company that makes the medication he is prescribing.

This works particularly well if it is a newer drug or product that is not generic.

Most doctors will help you contact them if you ask. Every drug company has an assistance program, because they want their products to be used.

Get Free Medications and Supplies

Some pharmacies are providing free generic diabetes medication. Shoprite, Pricechopper, Meijer and Publix are the ones I researched to make sure the offer was real.

Their websites are listed here.

  • http://www.shoprite.com/cnt/Pharmacy.html
  • http://www.pricechopper.com/diabetes/
  • http://www.meijer.com/pharmacy
  • http://www.publix.com

  Why do they give things away? Because the market for diabetic supplies is competitive.

All you need is a doctor's prescription. Some pharmacies also  assist with insulin, needles and other supplies.

Watch out for glucose meters offered with a rebate. Rebates are notoriously slow to return, and some never do.

It is easy to get a free meter directly from a major company like Bayer or OneTouch. That beats an off brand one with a rebate.

Make sure to do some research. Monitors can vary a lot in quality.

Also a cheap monitor can have test strips that are expensive or hard to find. Look for the strips on Amazon and compare prices.

Want Free Care? Join a Clinical Trial

Clinical trials will provide all of your diabetic care free. Universities, hospitals and labs do these trials often.

There is no shortage of money for diabetic research. Diabetes medication management is a huge industry.

Researchers look for people from all walks of life, but some of them only want test subjects who have been diabetic less than a year.

If you are accepted into a trial, travel expenses may be paid to and from the testing site, and you will get the best diabetic care you have ever had.

Their researchers stay current on diabetic news, plus the standard of care will be high.

You will get free medicine, although some of the test subjects will get placebos ("sugar pills").

But they will monitor you closely and look for side effects with care. You will get meticulous follow up  that  your regular doctor does not have time to do.

You might get a free glucose meter along with all the testing supplies you will need for the entire testing period, which might be years.

You will get free lab tests like the hemoglobin A1C at regular times, and lots of checkups. You will be treated the way you would if money were no object.

The downside is that you will have to stick to whatever diet regimen they ask for.

You will be required to keep detailed records and journals.

If you would like to know more about what to expect from clinical trials, there is an instructive video at the website for Clinical Connection.

The site also gives information on open trials for diabetes medication management.

Their website is www.clinicalconnection.com.

There is also an official government website for clinical trials: www.clinicaltrials.gov.

Be Wary of "Free" Offers

While you are looking for help, please be careful about free offers. Double check and make sure any offer you find on the internet is honest. Many of those sites are simply fishing for your e-mail address.

Free means it costs you nothing, so do not give out financial information. It does not matter what they say they need it for.

Be wary of anyone who says they have a cure. They are going to take your money and give you nothing.

Diabetes medication management needs people like Dr. Banting who gave the world the patent for insulin free. Who has done anything like that since?

Please do not neglect diabetes care because of the cost. Three out of four diabetics put themselves at risk by not getting what they need.

If you know a company or organization that helps with diabetes medication management, contact me. I will add that information here.

Return to diabetes management from diabetes medication management.