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Guidelines for Buying and Using Diabetes Supplies

Where can I buy diabetes supplies?

You can purchase blood glucose meters, test strips, lancets, and other diabetes supplies at your local pharmacy or at online pharmacies. But it's important to shop for bargains, just like you would for any other purchase. By looking for sales on diabetes products, you can find the best prices and save money. As an example, generic diabetes drugs can cut the cost of diabetes care. That's because retail prices for generics are generally lower than you'd pay for the name-brand products.

A glucose meter can vary in price depending on the features and brand you select. But you should be able to buy one for $40 to $60. Diabetes test strips can cost around $100 a month. Test strips are pricey, but you must have them to avoid problems. Checking only once or twice a day can save money on test strips. But first discuss less frequent sugar checks with your doctor or diabetes educator.

As you select a blood glucose meter, test strips, and other insulin supplies such as insulin syringes, keep in mind that there is no cure for diabetes at this time. You will need to have diabetes supplies every day, whether you are in town, away for the weekend, or traveling globally. You will have to make management of diabetes part of your daily lifestyle to stay well and avoid life-threatening diabetes complications.

Will my insurance company pay for the medicines and supplies I need?

Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. And it is estimated that it costs the nation $170 billion annually. As a result, 46 states have mandated that insurers must cover diabetes medicine, supplies, and equipment. But you may have to engage in a letter-writing campaign to get your health insurer to pay for certain medical devices. Also, if you're on Medicare or Medicaid, you can check online to see if these government programs will reimburse you for diabetes supplies.

How do I store diabetes medications and supplies?

If you take insulin, your doctor or diabetes educator will give you full instructions for storing it and using it effectively. Some diabetes drug manufacturers suggest storing the insulin in the refrigerator. Yet, as anyone with diabetes will tell you, injecting cold insulin into the body can be painful.

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