FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — As of Friday, a prescription is no longer required to purchase some types of insulin in Indiana.
“The real main benefit of the law is that it will require people who are in emergency situations who have barriers to accessing insulin to be able to access it,” Parkview endocrinologist Dr. Emily Schroeder said. “This will potentially prevent emergency visits, urgent care visits, hospitalizations, and so forth.”
Diabetes is a condition where the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or the body is not able to use insulin efficiently. There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2.
All individuals with Type 1 diabetes and some with Type 2 have to take insulin daily and often several times a day. Insulin is a hormone that is made by specialized cells in the pancreas and insulin is needed to turn the carbohydrates and sugar a person eats into energy so that the body and so the body can store carbohydrates for energy later. Without insulin sugar and glucose builds up in the blood and leads to high blood pressure.
Almost all insulin is injected through the skin so people either use vials and syringes or insulin pens or insulin pumps.
Currently, when a person finds out they need to be on insulin they would go to their physician and he/she would prescription the insulin. People would get a prescription from their doctor that would include the type of insulin, dose, and how often it needs to be taken.
However, for those who have insulin-dependent diabetes not having access to insulin can be life-threatening.
“The goal of this law is to increase access to insulin to people who might have barriers to either being seen by a physician, loss of insurance, traveling,” Dr. Schroeder said, “This is not to meant to substitute for regular medical care.”
Since 2014 Indiana has been the only state in which you need a prescription for all insulin products. In other states, there are certain kinds of insulin you can just go to the pharmacy and get without a prescription.
When the new law goes into effect there will be certain types of insulin that you will be able to get without a prescription. The insulin that will be available will be Human insulin, which is an older version of insulin. Analog insulin, which is the newer version of insulin, will still require a prescription.
“It’s still really important for people with diabetes to see a physician on a regular basis in order to get instructions on dosing and frequency of insulin use,” Dr. Schroeder said. “This law is really meant to address emergency situations and make sure people have access.”