Within a couple of months of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Lisa Corbeil, 47, of Philadelphia, landed in the hospital with asthma. To help her breathe, Corbeil was given the steroid prednisone, a drug that causes blood sugar to spike, which the medical team counteracted by pumping her full of insulin. Upon discharge her doctor prescribed two types of insulin, more pills, and two inhalers.
There are things you can do to ease the financial sting. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) offers these money-saving tips.
- Call around. Prices vary widely among different medications and from one store to the next.
- Try generics. There are generic versions of Glucophage (metformin) and some of the sulfonylureas are available in generic form as well.
- Split pills. Ask your doctor to prescribe the largest tablets of the drug you need and cut them in halves or quarters using a pill splitter to get the appropriate dosage. A 500-mg tablet, for example, often costs less than two 250-mg tablets. One note of caution: Some extended-release formulas will not work properly if split. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before you try splitting pills.