As a type 1 diabetic, living in the UK, I’ve always understood how extremely fortunate I am to be able to have access to insulin. I have access to it when I need it and it’s completely free. It’s as simple as me requesting a repeat prescription every other month at my doctor’s surgery, waiting for two working days before I head to the pharmacist to pick up my medication and there it is ready and presented in a nice paper bag with my name on it.
Not only do I have access to free insulin but my blood glucose meter, strips, my insulin pump, insets, batteries, syringes, everything is free. However, things like the Dexcom sensor aren’t free and are self-funded. Regardless, I can still have access to a loaner sensor through my diabetic clinic on certain occasions, free of charge. During both my pregnancies I was very lucky to have a loaner sensor throughout and even after delivery.
Having access to free insulin isn’t the case for many people living with the condition both in the western world and the developing world. In fact, access to insulin is not so accessible after all. Many of my diabetic friends have spoken of the many battles they’ve had with insurance companies over the fact that they should have sufficient insulin to last them the month.
As a diabetic, I know all too well that the amount of insulin needed can vary on a monthly basis, depending on blood glucose levels, stress, weight loss, sickness, a multitude of things could be the cause for a need for more insulin on that specific month. Even so I could not possibly imagine being told that I could not have any more insulin because I should have enough to last me till the end of a month.
In developing countries the cost of insulin can be extremely high, which means diabetics are not able to afford their insulin or medical treatment. I could not even imagine going without my insulin from day-to-day. It is just not an option. It’s vital to my existence and without it I wouldn’t be able to survive. This is the reality for many of these people living without insulin.
Charities like IDDT (InDependent Diabetes Trust), collect and send unwanted in date insulin to clinics in developing countries for distribution to diabetic children and adults, who cannot afford to buy insulin and are in need of insulin treatment.
-Unwanted, unopened insulin which is in date and has at least 3 months to expiration
-Syringes, lancets, needles
-Glucose test strips
If you are able or want to help donate any of your unwanted medication, then please send it in a padded envelope or box to:
InDependent Diabetes Trust
PO Box 294
tel: 01604 622837
fax: 01604 622838
Thanks Amina x