I am a 67 years old Canadian Citizen who came to US to visit my son on Feb 29th, 2020. Can't go back due to Covid19, how can I get insulin?

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    Call the doctor your son goes to. He should be able to help you. Maybe after getting in touch with your doctor at home. – Willeke Apr 8 at 15:25
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    You can still go back to Canada by car. Canadian citizens are not being denied entry, even now. – JonathanReez Apr 8 at 16:24
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    As for getting Insulin in the US - pharmacists have expanded authority during the lockdown. I'd call your local pharmacy and ask if they can sell it to you. – JonathanReez Apr 8 at 16:26
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    @JonathanReez the factors preventing return to Canada may be something other than the Canadian government. Also, do you have a reference to support the assertion that pharmacists have expanded authority? This is the first I've heard of it. – phoog Apr 8 at 17:03
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    If your son doesn't have a regular doctor or that option doesn't work, you could use a service like Teledoc to speak to a doctor from home at fairly low cost, and that doctor can transmit a prescription to a pharmacy for you (ideally a pharmacy that delivers, as many are doing now). The trickier bit will be ensuring you get a form of insulin that's affordable depending on your insurance situation, if any, as prices vary significantly. – Zach Lipton Apr 8 at 17:58

You can get insulin without a prescription in USA. However, since it won’t be the kind you’re accustomed to, you should get a doctor’s advice.


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Depending on which state you are currently in, the pharmacist may be able to prescribe the insulin and fill the prescription.

Call⁠ (on the phone) ⁠your ⁠son's ⁠favorite⁠ pharmacy and talk to the pharmacist.⁠ They should be able to direct you to the best solution for the state you are in.⁠⁠⁠⁠

Across the U.S. states are recognizing the value of authorizing pharmacists to prescribe in order to increase access to important medications.⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ This authority exists somewhere along a continuum and is either dependent (delegated through a collaborative practice agreement) or independent (authority comes directly from the state, no delegation required) authority.


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Certain types of insulin, like Humulin N, can be purchased over the counter. If your specific type can’t, just go to a local urgent care, explain your situation, and get an RX for it. Also, you can state on this board the type of insulin and your location and maybe someone will be able to help you out.

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    Please don't go to urgent care in person if you're over the age of 60, unless you really really have to. Your odds of getting infected there are astronomical. – JonathanReez Apr 8 at 21:09
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    If you need insulin, it's so you don't die. If your type of insulin is not available over the counter, in order to not die, you must get a prescription. So, really have to? yes. – CGCampbell Apr 8 at 22:03
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    I'd be very surprised if you couldn't get a prescription from a doctor over the phone for something like this. – ajd Apr 9 at 3:08
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    @gerrit astronomical: informal (of an amount) extremely large. From here. – AndreKR Apr 9 at 10:56
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    @gerrit 1 is the largest number that exists in the universe [0,1]... As far as probabilities go, it's definitely astronomical. You wouldn't say a 12 ft long human is not tall, just because they are tiny compared to Burj Khalifa; so you shouldn't say 1 is not a large probability, because 1000 is a way bigger number. – Paul Apr 9 at 16:04

I would suggest video consultation, my mom uses it. You pay per consult and they send the prescription to whichever pharmacy you choose.

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    Please keep to the normal no spam rules. In this case the underlying suggestion is a good one so I will take out the link. – Willeke Apr 9 at 8:06
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    A video consultation with one's own doctor might get a prescription, but US pharmacies won't fill foreign prescriptions. You'd be lucky to find any other doctor who'd write prescription on the basis of one video consult. – user105640 Apr 9 at 14:40
  • The link taken out was for a video consultation company based in the USA. I am sure there are more of those around. – Willeke Apr 9 at 16:03
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    @Arthur'sPass If the consult consists of "here's what I take at home as prescribed by Dr. Such-and-such. It works for me and my condition is stable while I'm on it. I'm running out. I need to continue the same treatment here," that's a pretty reasonable thing for a doctor to prescribe during a video visit, especially given the circumstances of the pandemic. Assuming the treatment plan appears reasonable to the doctor and is working, why wouldn't a telemedicine doctor allow you to continue it? There may be some limitations, such as for controlled substances, but that's not an issue here. – Zach Lipton Apr 9 at 18:19
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    Sorry, I didn't know about the spam rules, I just created the account to give the suggestion. But by the way, yes, there is a lot of other companies doing the same thing and yes, they fill prescriptions by video consultation. – Hélio Nunes Apr 10 at 6:40

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