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#1
MacFall

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Hello, I'm new to the forum. I just wanted to know if anyone had an experience similar to one I recently had.

I am in the US, and I was ordering Humalog from a Canadian online pharmacy because it's half the price, and because I can order extra so I have a backup supply in case of a crisis that disrupts medical infrastructure.

I got my first shipment with no problem, but my second shipment was confiscated by the FDA. They sent me a very polite form letter informing me that they had stolen my medicine, for the following reasons:

"502(o), 801(a)(3); Misbranding
It appears the drug or device is not included in a list required by Section 510(j). As a personal importation there is no evidence that this is the drug listed for use in the Uninted States.

505(a), 801(a)(3); Unapproved
The article appears to be a new drug without an approved new drug application. Drug is available in the U.S. and therfore (sic) not permitted for import under the pesonal (sic) use exemption. Almost all prescription drugs are considered new drugs."


I've done some looking into it and it seems like it's just a case of the government bullying people, as they don't have any apparent legal power to do anything. In fact their own website contradicts the letter, saying that Humalog IS on the list required by Section 510(j).

As it currently stands, I will probably go on ordering insulin from Canada. I would like to know whether the FDA has, in fact, the legal power to throw me in jail or fine me or whatever. However, I don't think I'll do anything different even if it is illegal, as I have no moral obligation to seek permission to live from the state.

Also I understand that the importation of insulin from Canada for personal use for Americans is a rather common thing, and few of those who do it seem to have any trouble with the Feds, regardless of whether the FDA can steal insulin legally, or are just stealing it without the formality of law.

So: has anyone else here had a similar experience, or know anything about the matter?

#2
butterflykisses

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I wonder if it was the amount you purchased that caused them to confiscate it? I think personal use is limited to a 90 day supply. If you were getting a lot more than that, they might have flagged it for that reason, and not really the reason they gave. They say that the 90 day supply limit is to keep people from obtaining it and reselling here in the US. Whatever. :mad:
Katherine
type 1 (1.5) 12 years, Pumper 6 1/2 years? or so.

#3
sarahspins

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A lot of canadian drugs are specifically marked "not for export" and I think that is really the bigger issue than what it was that you ordered, or how much of it. If they are labeled that way, they cannot be legally purchased from within the US.

Not that it has stopped me - I have ordered both Novolog (Novorapid) and Lantus in the past, because at times it's actually been cheaper to order a 90 day supply from canada than to pay my insurance co-pay (which at one point was $65 a month.. UGH).

It's really sad that insulin is less than half the price in Canada that we are charged here, yet it's illegal to buy it from there.. and something to consider, is that just beacuse plenty of people do it, it doesn't make it legal... it's like buying people's unused test strips on eBay.. technically in most cases that's actuall insruance fraud. I seriously doubt most of those people selling strips for cheap walked into a pharmacy and paid retail prices for them. Most are probably mail order.. and paid for by medicare/insurance.
Sarah, T1 since 2000
PINGing Apidra along with Dexcom 7+

#4
DanG

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It's really sad that insulin is less than half the price in Canada that we are charged here, yet it's illegal to buy it from there.. and something to consider, is that just because plenty of people do it, it doesn't make it legal.


This whole insurance game is the real issue with the system in US. Stop to realize this - if the insco was not there to bail us from the cost, the cost would fall to where the consumer could afford the strips. This is fundamental economics.

Yet, we supposedly trust the jokers in DC to be looking out for our interests? - I don't think so, and I have no proof that they ever look out for our interests.

Eliminate insurances and costs will fall. There was a story about a year ago about a doctor in Tennessee that did NOT work with insco, but he posted prices for his services. This is very rural part of the country and costs were paid upon receipt of service. It can happen in America - it is happening in America.

#5
dgrilli

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After reading this it makes me wonder how anyone in their right mind would even think of letting the Government run Health Care.

After all they have done such a great job at everything they have touched.

I have to go drink some more Fluoridated water I'm just not quite that docile enough yet.

Has anyone read the book:
ECOSCIENCE:
POPULATION,
RESOURCES,
ENVIRONMENT
PAUL R. EHRLICH
STANFORD UNIVERSITY

ANNE H. EHRLICH
STANFORD UNIVERSITY

JOHN P. HOLDREN
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY

W. H. FREEMAN AND COMPANY
San Francisco

This is their Text Book and how the current Administration wants to run things. If you read this book you will get some insight into the insurance reform and Health Care.

John P. Holdren is the Science Czar appointed by the US President.

Of course how could you know without reading it.
Animas One Touch Ping 12-03-2008
Animas 1250 Pump 7-24-2006
Animas 2020 Pump 9-04-2007
Medtronic Guardian REAL-Time 11-13-2007

#6
sarahspins

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Comparison of the labeling between US Lantus (black/purple stripes on label) and Canadian (purple).

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

As you can see clearly on the last one.. it is labeled "export prohibited" (didn't stop me from buying it, obviously.. lol)

Also interesting to note is that Lantus does not appear to be Rx only in Canada - maybe one of our Canadian members can confirm that? I'm also amused by the increased labeling on the US version.. I suppose Sofani Aventis thinks we're all stupid.. and Canadians aren't :)

I can say from personal experience that it doesn't appear to work any differently at all... however, I would advise anyone considering ordering anything from Canada to consider what the weather is like... if it's too hot that will cook your insulin. It's shipped express, but that's like our Priority mail.. it takes a few days.

I have a Canadian vial of NovoRapid around somewhere.. it does NOT have any labeling on it saying export is prohibited, but it's entirely possible that the box did... but that is long gone. It however does not say Rx Only either.. and the US bottles of Novolog do. I would assume that Humalog is similar. I have ordered Humalog from Canada in the past and never had trouble.. but I don't have any right now.
Sarah, T1 since 2000
PINGing Apidra along with Dexcom 7+

#7
misha09

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Any worse than insurance companies whose only goal is to make as much money as possible off us?

#8
DanG

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Any worse than insurance companies whose only goal is to make as much money as possible off us?


Agreed.
That is why I say, cancel insurance companies.
As a matter of fact, prices will meet what we can afford - that is a fundamental of economics.
Insurances offer nothing in a free market.

#9
JediSkipdogg

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Agreed.
That is why I say, cancel insurance companies.
As a matter of fact, prices will meet what we can afford - that is a fundamental of economics.
Insurances offer nothing in a free market.


I've heard many stories of before insurance companies exploded from the 50's and 60's. Doctors use to make house calls then. You paid at the time of the visit. And everything was much cheaper. Once insurance came into the market, prices exploded and services went down. It's a fundamental principal that if you have insurance in the mix costs have to be higher to account for the billing employee at the doctor's office along, the billing employee at the insurance company, and then the profits of the 3rd party insurance company. So costs have to greatly increase, hence why many doctors will take a 50% pay cut for an office visit if you pay in cash at the time of the visit.
●Blue Ash, Ohio Police Dispatcher
●Type 1 diabetic since 11 months old
●Pumper since December of 2002
~Animas IR 1000 (Dec. 2002 - Jan. 2005)
~Animas IR 1200 (Jan. 2005 - Jan. 2009)
~Cozmo 1800 (Jan. 2009 - ?)
●Dexcom Seven+ (Aug 1, 2009 - Oct 31, 2012)
●Dexcom G4 (Nov 1, 2012 - ???)


Diabetes is an Art, NOT a Science. You must master the control by skills and not by knowledge alone.


#10
hazatude

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What is the actual cost difference on insulin and supplies?
Animas Ping Pumper May 10th 2010
Sept/08 A1c=11.3
Nov/08 A1c=9.3
Dec/08 A1c=8.8
Apr/09 A1c=8.0
Dec/09 A1c=7.8
July/10 A1c=7.8

#11
JediSkipdogg

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What is the actual cost difference on insulin and supplies?


In the US a bottle of Aprida, Humalog, or Novolog can run $90-$110. The Canada equivalent can run $40-$60. So you are looking at generally a 50% price difference.
●Blue Ash, Ohio Police Dispatcher
●Type 1 diabetic since 11 months old
●Pumper since December of 2002
~Animas IR 1000 (Dec. 2002 - Jan. 2005)
~Animas IR 1200 (Jan. 2005 - Jan. 2009)
~Cozmo 1800 (Jan. 2009 - ?)
●Dexcom Seven+ (Aug 1, 2009 - Oct 31, 2012)
●Dexcom G4 (Nov 1, 2012 - ???)


Diabetes is an Art, NOT a Science. You must master the control by skills and not by knowledge alone.


#12
shades9323

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After reading this it makes me wonder how anyone in their right mind would even think of letting the Government run Health Care.

After all they have done such a great job at everything they have touched.

I have to go drink some more Fluoridated water I'm just not quite that docile enough yet.

Has anyone read the book:
ECOSCIENCE:
POPULATION,
RESOURCES,
ENVIRONMENT
PAUL R. EHRLICH
STANFORD UNIVERSITY

ANNE H. EHRLICH
STANFORD UNIVERSITY

JOHN P. HOLDREN
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY

W. H. FREEMAN AND COMPANY
San Francisco

This is their Text Book and how the current Administration wants to run things. If you read this book you will get some insight into the insurance reform and Health Care.

John P. Holdren is the Science Czar appointed by the US President.

Of course how could you know without reading it.


Because governmental intervention is the only way to bring down prices.

#13
MCS

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MOst of the drugs I have ordred in the past from drugdelivery.ca have come in foil wrapped lined envelopes. X-ray deterent. Also I have received some wrapped in new shirts, kinda spooky, but cost is cost.
---------------------------------
Asprin 2-6 325mg per day
Amino Acids, Vitamins Bx, C, D, E
Hi-Maize 260, Ground and Whole Flax Seed
COQ10, Magnesium, Zinc, Fish Oil, Lisinopril
A1C estimate of 10-12 at dxed 5.6, 4.8, 4.6
Everyone has something to offer, you just have to listen

#14
Dogen

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I haven't lived in Canada since 2002, but when I was in Calgary I could get a vial of humalog for $20 - walking into any pharmacy off the street. The cheapest I can find it in the US is Costco, which sells it for $67/vial (at least in my area). One reason for the disparity in price is that Canada's single-payer system negotiates drug prices with drug companies - which makes sense when the government is footing the bill. In the US, the government is barred by law from negotiating drug prices, so we spend 2-3 times as much on drugs alone.

I'm fairly insulin resistant (TDD = roughly 80-90u of humalog), and always have been since I was diagnosed at 10, but when I was 23 I had an insurance company refuse to fill my prescription because I was using "too much" - never mind that my endocrinologist had written the prescription for me. Insurance as a "for profit" model necessitates that they charge as much as they possibly can to cover healthy people while refusing as many payments as they can to sick people. I work for a "non-profit" health care provider, and it's a misleading name - we use a "for profit" model, except without the investors. We just sink a percentage of earnings into investments and charity - which is, ironically, owned and run by our medical group - and get to call ourselves "non profit."

Universal health care makes sense for several reasons. As a single-payer system they can negotiate prices with the power of 40 million buyers, getting better rates. Medicare in the US currently has a 7% overhead, versus 31% for insurance companies - a public option would dramatically cut administrative costs, saving hundreds of millions per year, which wouldn't have to be made up in costs to consumers. In 2007, the House Committee on Government Reform looked at Medicare Part D (which is privatized) as compared with the rest of Medicare and found overhead to be 6 times higher in Part D - the part run by the insurance companies. Finally, a single-payer system would remove investors and the need to make a profit. Balanced budgets are important, but when the impetus is placed on making money it can only be done at the expense of consumers who are sick or have pre-existing conditions. Removing the influence of profit returns the focus to providing adequate, effective health care solutions.

Oh, and it wouldn't run insurance companies out of business - Canada has a single-payer system AND insurance companies. They offer supplemental insurance, usually through employers, which can literally drive many consumer costs down to zero. Amazing synergy between public and private health care.

If you read this whole post, give yourself a gold star. ;)

#15
slipperyelm

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Glad I read this today. If anyone is familiar with buy from Mexico, could you have a look at my current question in the general Diabetes forum? Thanks.

http://www.diabetesf...lin-mexico.html

#16
DanG

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Finally, a single-payer system would remove investors and the need to make a profit. Balanced budgets are important, but when the impetus is placed on making money it can only be done at the expense of consumers who are sick or have pre-existing conditions. Removing the influence of profit returns the focus to providing adequate, effective health care solutions.


I get the gold star because I read your entire piece. :o

I hate profit makers that simply make life good for themselves without regard to anyone else, but I don't think a socialistic type of system has any track record better than the current system. The 7% overhead looks fine, but there are costs that are not in that 7% that the 21% insco is showing - that is, these are not apples to apples in terms of overhead rates (7% does not reflect the cost to collect the medicare assessments, and collection, etc - real costs). Hence, there is no proof that the gov't can do this at a lower overhead and more efficiently. I do not have proof that this is the paradigm that the gov't operates within. If the gov't operates in this realm, I would love to know where they have efficiency and cost levels that compete directly with private enterprise - and then I might throw my life at their feet and say pay my insurance claims. The principle of gov't management has nothing to do with efficiency and cost containment - they have the good will of the entire population to pay for their systems and programs and that defines non efficient without regard to cost. This is principled argument because there are no real apple to apple comparisons available, either way.

The untenable solution is to allow a diversity that we don't have. Diversity in terms of offerings state to state, city to city. The principle of equal across the land is untenable, yet that is still the desire of all. We do not want unequality or diversity - we want uniformity and hegemony. Uniformity does not exist - except in our brain. Massive corporate insco, massive gov't can only produce uniformity at their whim. Eliminate insco from the chain of funding and you can achieve costs that reflect the marketplace - if I cannot afford meds, someone might take a look at what can be done in lowering cost so that people can afford the meds. If nobody can purchase med, the medco cannot sell meds. Currently, they see a nice pool of insco funds available to tap and they sell the meds at a price they think they can capture. Eliminate that fund and the meds are afforded like milk, the price needs to drop. A gov't pogrom is not the solution.

#17
Chef Barrae

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You can blame George W. Bush for banning the purchase of medications from Canada, etc. He changed the laws to protect the pharmaceutical companies and help them continue to line their pockets.
Chef Barrae

#18
Delphinus

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Hello, I'm new to the forum. I just wanted to know if anyone had an experience similar to one I recently had.

I am in the US, and I was ordering Humalog from a Canadian online pharmacy because it's half the price, and because I can order extra so I have a backup supply in case of a crisis that disrupts medical infrastructure.

I got my first shipment with no problem, but my second shipment was confiscated by the FDA. They sent me a very polite form letter informing me that they had stolen my medicine, for the following reasons:

"502(o), 801(a)(3); Misbranding
It appears the drug or device is not included in a list required by Section 510(j). As a personal importation there is no evidence that this is the drug listed for use in the Uninted States.

505(a), 801(a)(3); Unapproved
The article appears to be a new drug without an approved new drug application. Drug is available in the U.S. and therfore (sic) not permitted for import under the pesonal (sic) use exemption. Almost all prescription drugs are considered new drugs."


I've done some looking into it and it seems like it's just a case of the government bullying people, as they don't have any apparent legal power to do anything. In fact their own website contradicts the letter, saying that Humalog IS on the list required by Section 510(j).

As it currently stands, I will probably go on ordering insulin from Canada. I would like to know whether the FDA has, in fact, the legal power to throw me in jail or fine me or whatever. However, I don't think I'll do anything different even if it is illegal, as I have no moral obligation to seek permission to live from the state.

Also I understand that the importation of insulin from Canada for personal use for Americans is a rather common thing, and few of those who do it seem to have any trouble with the Feds, regardless of whether the FDA can steal insulin legally, or are just stealing it without the formality of law.

So: has anyone else here had a similar experience, or know anything about the matter?


I suspect they are trying to send a message that nothing is safe, flexing their "muscle".

The stranglehold is getting to be a bit much, and there really isn't much you can do, even if they are wrong.

You can't fight the government, an organization that used to be FOR the people.

It has turned into a demonic octopus that has it's slimy tentacles in everything.

Get out your spearguns, and start shooting back.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

Type1 diabetic. Son of a Type1 diabetic. Father to a Type1 diabetic.

+++ Jason

#19
Dogen

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I hate profit makers that simply make life good for themselves without regard to anyone else, but I don't think a socialistic type of system has any track record better than the current system. ... The principle of gov't management has nothing to do with efficiency and cost containment - they have the good will of the entire population to pay for their systems and programs and that defines non efficient without regard to cost. This is principled argument because there are no real apple to apple comparisons available, either way.

Ironically, though the Canadian system is much maligned, comparisons with both Canada's Medicare and Britain's NHS are apt for several reasons: they cover everyone (as we would hope to do), they spend about a third of what we do, they have roughly 76% approval ratings among their citizenry (each), and both have higher life expectancies and lower infant mortality rates than we have here. Since I have better experience with the Canadian system, I can say that their system provides one benefit ours does not, which is an abundance of primary care physicians. In the US we've got a shortage due to reimbursement from insurance companies being higher for specialists. Ironically, Canada has a paucity of specialists (to be fair), due to the similarity in payments (why go through an extra residency to specialize when you get paid the same?). Canada's system is also facing deficits, as has been reported, but those deficits are largely due to attempts by premiers (governors) to apply more free market approaches by outsourcing with private providers (Canada's system makes each province its own insurance cooperative) and because their government, like ours, can't leave its budget alone - like social security's insolvency, the Medicare bankruptcy is artificially created through poor governance. This is a legitimate criticism... but one which has not yet affected their life expectancy, apparently.

I've seen the argument about the "real" cost of Medicare before, but estimates of what those true costs are vary wildly - which makes for poor evidentiary support (that guy says the true cost is 12%, this guy says it's 5.2%). One interesting argument I feel has a lot of weight is that many health care dollars are wasted between the insurer and the insured. The facility I work at employs two entire departments - one to deal with collecting money from insurance companies and another to deal with collecting money from patients. Likewise, doctors offices are forced to employ people to fight with insurance companies as well. One huge benefit of a single payer system is a reduction in redundancy. You could get rid of almost all of that overhead (which would actually mean layoffs) by having a single payer - the government.

The untenable solution is to allow a diversity that we don't have. Diversity in terms of offerings state to state, city to city. The principle of equal across the land is untenable, yet that is still the desire of all. We do not want unequality or diversity - we want uniformity and hegemony. Uniformity does not exist - except in our brain. Massive corporate insco, massive gov't can only produce uniformity at their whim.



I'm curious why a single plan solution is unacceptable, given that it seems to work in both Canada and the UK in terms of outcome (referring, again, to life expectancy and infant mortality)? Of all the issues Canadians have with their health care, diversity of plans isn't one I'm familiar with. Unless you meant some other kind of diversity?

Eliminate insco from the chain of funding and you can achieve costs that reflect the marketplace - if I cannot afford meds, someone might take a look at what can be done in lowering cost so that people can afford the meds. If nobody can purchase med, the medco cannot sell meds. Currently, they see a nice pool of insco funds available to tap and they sell the meds at a price they think they can capture. Eliminate that fund and the meds are afforded like milk, the price needs to drop. A gov't pogrom is not the solution.


What I believe you're proposing is called laissez faire economics (literally meaning "leave it be," implying hands off by government). The US once took this approach to the economy, which led to widespread worker abuse and child labor. Laissez faire economics led to some of the worst conditions for the poor that this country has ever seen. In fact, it was what led to the creation of unions in the US. The reasoning is that consumers as individuals have little power, while groups wield more. Further, when one group has something the other group wants (like insulin), the only way the second group can bargain effectively is if they have the option to walk away. We don't have that option, which means we would essentially be thrown to the wolves. It's possible that, for instance, Eli Lilly might refuse to lower prices to keep poor diabetics alive, and Novo Nordisk might lower theirs to scoop the sales... but the rules of supply and demand would still make it such that prices would remain as high as the market could bear, so that pharmas would never lower the price less than absolutely necessary. Individuals simply don't have the buying power to force the hand of these companies, which is why we need collective buying (and why we created collective bargaining agreements).

#20
DanG

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I'm curious why a single plan solution is unacceptable, given that it seems to work in both Canada and the UK in terms of outcome (referring, again, to life expectancy and infant mortality)? Of all the issues Canadians have with their health care, diversity of plans isn't one I'm familiar with. Unless you meant some other kind of diversity?


Diversity is very common. While I have many trees in the back yard, and while all of them are the same type of tree, there still is diversity. Each one is in a different location. Diversity in health care would mean that if you want to be part of a plan - go ahead. If I don't want in to a plan - let me go ahead. I don't fear the wolves - fear is not good for health, plus it only causes more wolves to surround. The insco has generated their own wolves for 50 years and we are all uniform in our fear of the unexpected. When the unexpected appears, it appears unexpectedly and it gets us. We, nor an insco can do anything about it. Additionally, the "good neighbor" has many other ways to skate away from my unexpected - and they have shareholders to please - so they do as much as possible to run away. Diversity in approach to health and care is good. Some care, others do not care. What is being shoved down our throats is the fear factor - that I cannot afford this/that. If I cannot afford this/that - so what, I cannot afford this/that, so I don't afford this/that and then we have another new approach appearing, as necessity becomes the mother of invention. Uniformity stifles invention, diversity in approach fosters invention.

As to unions and collectives - they have done some good, perhaps, but there are still no apple to apple comparisons - mere innuendo at best and then more fear mongering. Diversity is not an enemy - it is another means and another approach. Whereas, collective demands - demands we all put in so we can all be given, yet the collective always runs away when things need to be done and leaves the members holding the bag, which then again necessitates invention, as necessity appears again.

I don't like large systems. I don't like gov't. Laissez faire leaves much to be known that history does not tell us. The victor writes history and laissez faire did not win and I am sure there is much to be known about less rather than more gov't. The world is a war zone. What is interesting about these times in USA is that we have strayed very far away from being a nation of law. We make law that forces actions, but we do not live nor operate by the law that is the founding structure for this once great experiment. We would do ourselves and the next generation a great favor to understand what the founders had in mind, rather than run from it. We are running right in to the arms of what they ran away from. They had some real intelligence and experience that we are to smug to value, and that to our demise, I fear.




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