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Getting Insulin Abroad (in France)

This story was originally published as a guest post in 2 parts for the Type 1 Diabetes Blog I write bi-weekly for Diabetes Sisters. Before moving to Europe both times, I’ve gotten this question quite often: But how will you get your insulin over there? While studying abroad in France when I was 21, I brought enough insulin for a 3-month stay. I was to be there for 4 months (which turned in to 9 months but that’s another story for another time), but I was supposed to get my visa by the second month. That visa would grant me health benefits akin to French citizens. However, if you’ve ever lived in France, you know how the French bureaucracy works. Read: slowly. Fast forward to month #3, visa “on it’s way- should arrive within the month,” and I’m cracking open the last of my Humalog supply. Obviously, I had to get more- but how, without insurance, without a visa? Without really speaking French? Without a doctor, or any clue where to begin? I emailed my study abroad advisor, and asked for her advice. She wasn’t extremely helpful, but she did send me the address to a walk-in clinic in the area. The next day, with a map in one hand and copies of my American prescriptions Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. Shreyas Ramakrishna

    I use a Medtronic Minimed insulin pump, so I will list all my medical expenses per month for the same.

  2. Angad Chandhok

    Well it totally depends on the insulin you’re using and the method of injecting.
    Some people are on the MDIs(multiple daily injections) regimen while some use insulin pump.
    Out of those on MDIs, some people use basal-bolus separately while others are on mixtards like 30/70 or 50/50 insulin.
    Some people use syringe and vial for injecting, while some use insulin pens.
    Mixtard insulin is comparitively cheaper than the separate basal-bolus insulin, and insulin vials are cheaper than the insulin pen cartridges.
    I’ve always been on MDIs and plan to shift to an insulin pump later.
    I used to be on 30/70 mixtard but later changed to basal-bolus as it made me manage my blood glucose levels more efficiently.
    My basal insulin is Tresiba and bolus is Novorapid, and I use insulin pen for delivering.
    Tresiba pen costs around Rs.1650/- (Sadly, there’s no cartridge for Tresiba and one needs to buy the whole disposable pen every time) and Novorapid cartridges cost around Rs.450/-.
    Since both the cartridge and the pen contain 300 units, and I take 15 units basal along with 18 units bolus( 6 units per meal on average) daily, the cost for Tresiba and Novorapid comes out around to be Rs. 82.50/- and Rs. 27/- respectively, which adds up to Rs. 110/- daily.

    But clearly as the other answers have shown, the daily cost will vary from person to person depending on the insulin type, insulin brand, method of injecting and daily insulin requirement !

  3. Alok Kumar

    People with type 1 diabetes cannot make insulin because the beta cells in their pancreas are damaged or destroyed. Therefore, these people will need insulin injections to allow their body to process glucose and avoid complications from hyperglycemia

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