How To: Help Diabetics Who Can’t Afford Insulin

This section is for everyone.

From time to time I expect you feel pretty miserable about having diabetes. Especially about these interminable injections.

Diabetes for everyone is a life sentence. But for some poor people in developing countries parents cannot afford insulin for both a diabetic child and  food for the rest of the family. Hard choices have to be made.

Insulin for Life

The insulin for life organisation aims to help. They will ship your unwanted but in date insulin to those who would die without it.  They also help coordinate insulin supplies to disaster struck areas.

It is an Austrialian based organisation whose president is Ron Raab.  Ron has been a type one diabetic since he was 12 just like Dr Bernstein. He became one of Dr Bernstein’s patients and reversed many of his longstanding diabetes complications (read his success story here).

Insulin for Life is the website for the organisation that has affiliates in the US, Europe and the UK.

The Insulin Dependent Diabetes Trust

This is the UK organisation who will send your donated insulin to Insulin For Life.

Please send your no longer needed insulin – unused vials or cartridges and in date in a jiffy bag to:

Jenny Hirst
PO Box

The IDDT is a charity whose staff and membership is formed by diabetics and by those caring for diabetics. They aim to listen and support your needs.

They have an excellent website with articles of interest to insulin users about many different aspects of diabetes at:

Enquiries can be sent by e mail to:

The IDDT was formed from original members of Diabetes UK who were not being supported in their needs and preferences for animal insulins. Unlike Diabetes UK they receive no funding from pharmaceutical or food manufacturers.

Today is the 30th July 2007 and at the present time there is no pen form of regular insulin available in the UK apart form pork or beef soluble insulins. These are available for use in one unit increment  Owen Mumford Autopen Classic.
Thanks to the political lobbying that IDDT have continued for years the UK still manufactures animal insulins. These are obtained  and purified from pigs and cows that have been slaughtered for their meat.

A small variety of long acting, short acting and mixed duration animal insulins are available in pen cartridge formulations and  vials from Wockhardt Pharmaceuticals. These can be shipped overseas.

Prescriptions for the insulins and pens are available from your UK GP in the usual way. A GP however may want a diabetologist to approve.

If you are  keen on a pen form of regular insulin animal insulins are the only option currently available. The biggest drawback is that there is no half unit increment pens. Hypurin Pork Soluble insulin is what you need as it is a little quicker  acting than the Hypurin Beef Soluble insulin. You may remember that regular /actrapid/ soluble insulins are  a particularly good option for covering protein in meals.

Alternatively you can use Hypurin Pork Soluble or the GM Human Actrapid insulin  manufactured by Novonordisk in vial and syringe form. The advantage of the syringe is that you can still use half or quarter unit doses.

Quick Quiz:
1. Unopened and in date insulin vials and cartridges that you no longer need can be put to good use by two of these….a
a Pharmacies
b Diabetes UK, the ADA or your equivalent national diabetes organisation.
c Insulin for life.
d The Insulin Dependent Diabetes Trust.

Have you got it?
1. C and D are correct. IDDT in the UK will send it to Insulin for Life who will arrange for worldwide distribution.  Please send  insulin with at least 3 months to go to expiry.  You can read more about this organisation and how you can help on this site.

Where to Next?
Please now proceed to the How To: Deal with Low Blood Sugars section.