How I adore our ADW clients. Not only are you smart enough to shop around to find great pricing for your diabetic pet supplies, you help keep me abreast of what is going on around the country and how other practitioners approach diabetes management.

Last week after one of my insulin pen article went out, George (an ADW client with a diabetic cat) wrote me and told me how he saves a significant amount of money on his cat’s glargine (also known as lantus) insulin. I was impressed!

I’ve long thought that busy multi-doctor veterinary practices should order the lantus pens and sell them individually to diabetic cat owners. They have only 3 cc of insulin in them compared to the standard 10 cc vials, much of which goes wasted for a small critter like a putty tat. It hadn’t crossed my mind that some pharmacies might sell pens individually nor that there was a coupon available for glargine.

George found a 50 percent off coupon for glargine solostar pens. He uses a 3/10 cc u-100 insulin syringe with a 5/16 inch long needle to draw up the glargine directly from the pen. He noted that he does not inject air into the pen as he would with a vial of glargine. After the coupon he is spending only $25 per 3cc of glargine insulin, which is a pretty darned good price.

George told me that not all pharmacies will break open a box and sell the pens individually, but some will. It’s worth a bit of calling around in your own home town to see if one of your local pharmacies will help you.

How do you get such a coupon? I found it easily enough with a Google search. I searched both “glargine coupon” and “lantus coupon” and readily accessed a link to a printable coupon.

One nice bonus to using the 3 cc pens instead of the 10 cc vial is that less insulin is wasted. Even for folks who use a vial of glargine beyond the labeled 28 days, this can save a lot of money. I personally tell my cat clients using glargine that they can use a vial for 4 to 6 months, provided that they maintain good technique, keep the vial in a safe spot in the fridge (I.e. Don’t let it roll around into the butter dish) and inspect it daily for color or turgidity changes. Any insulin brand is usually labeled to be discarded in 28 days. Going beyond that 28 days is a matter of finances, particularly for small pets which typically use much less insulin than a human might use.

Big thanks to George for his insight. If you have a suggestion worth sharing or questions about diabetes, feel free to email me at Joi.SuttonDVM@adwdiabetes.com.

You can also connect with Dr. Joi Sutton on Google+

Dr . Joi Sutton

Dr . Joi Sutton

Dr. Joi Sutton is a 1993 graduate from Oregon State University. She has practiced both in emergency medicine and general practice. Dr. Sutton has done extensive international volunteer work and is the President and Founder of Veterinary Ventures, a nonprofit organization that takes teams of veterinarians to undeveloped countries for humane medical care. She also runs a small animal practice in South Florida.
Dr . Joi Sutton