Buying Insulin from Canada: A New Trend for American Diabetics



People hear many things about the cost of insulin in the United States. People are worried about where their money is going. Many people have told us that they will buy insulin from Canada because it is less expensive than buying it in the United States. We all saw senator Bernie Sanders visit Canada with a bus full of American diabetics. The outpour of emotion from those Americans was unforgettable and had many American diabetics thinking if they should cross the border for their insulin.

Our friends up North may love hockey and snow, but they sure know to make an Americans saves a lot of money on their diabetes medication. Many Americans buy insulin online from Canada, but that is because the price of insulin in the US is so high that it’s not worth the risk of buying it in the US and shipping it.

This article will investigate how an international company can make a better product and reduce what is considered their most costly expense (the “cost of capital”). We will also discuss making your product more relevant in a global market.

Why are Americans Looking to Canada for Their Insulin?

The USA has been one of the largest importers of insulin for more than 40 years. Though it’s not quite as pervasive as in other countries, the United States still consumes more insulin than any other country. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) reports that in 2010, Americans consumed about 3% of world production, which equates to about 150 million units each year.

Insulin is one of the essential medications for diabetics. It regulates blood sugar levels so that the body can use sugar effectively. If someone is diagnosed with diabetes, they may be on a daily dose of insulin that averages around ten units per day. In addition to regular treatment with insulin, individuals diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes may have to take additional doses of insulin or traditional medicine.

In addition to being concerned about its local impact on health care costs and global supply chain costs (due to tariffs and import taxes), there are also financial considerations on doctors’ budgets when spending money on insulin for their patients. The price of the medication can fluctuate depending on where it comes from and whether it’s imported or manufactured locally within a country like Canada or China (the latter tends to be more expensive). This is not an issue with people who buy insulin online from Canada – these people believe it online because they cannot find it available in the US or Europe. It’s an issue with the international community, most of whom live in the US or Europe, who don’t know what type of insulin they want. They are all looking at prices on websites like Amazon and deciding on which site they want to buy their insulin from based on one factor: cost, unless they know how much money they can expect to spend on this purchase (and let’s face it, Americans spend more money on everything – so why would someone pay more for their insulin?).

This doesn’t include just insulin. Recently Ozempic has become rather popular in America. How popular? There is a current shortage of Ozempic in America and people are looking to Canada, Mexico and the UK in purchasing their Ozempic. Sites like give Americans all the safe options of purchasing Ozempic overseas. Buying medication overseas is not strictly for insulin.

If people do not look at prices across all countries, we will never find out what works best for them and the rest of us because those prices will differ for each person. If we can do some simple math, we can tell which shopping site may offer a better deal per unit of measurement (i.e., dollar) and which site may offer a better deal per unit of value (i.e., life-spans). If we had the time to do the math across every single country but only look at those that have become “supermarket superpowers” (as Warren Buffet put it), then this analysis would be compelling – even if we knew whether China was cheaper than France or Italy, we could say: “To get your pump fixed here in China you need $200 more than you need here in France” or “To get your pump fixed here at Costco you will need $100 more than you would need there at Walmart” without having any complex numbers.

Is Insulin That Much Cheaper in Canada?

Why insulin is cheaper in Canada than in the United States, and why it is somewhat surprising that insulin has seen a massive price increase.

I have a friend who is an insulin user (he has type 1 diabetes), and he always says that since the price of insulin has gone up so much, he doesn’t feel like taking it anymore. I told him that I didn’t think that was the case and that if you had to pay the same amount of money for the same amount of insulin in Canada as you do in the US, then it must be cheaper to buy it from Canada. He said, “No, I don’t want to pay more for my medication, and if I am paying less for it here, then okay.”

Boy, oh boy, was he ever wrong. We started comparing prices and noticed that he would save 500 USD on his Lantus Solostar Pens if he ordered from Canada. We looked further into other diabetic medications and realized that he could save hundreds and thousands if he called his medicines from Canada.

Is it Safe for Americans to Buy Insulin Online from Canada?

Like any good deal, there is always a kicker. We looked closely at a few online Canadian pharmacies and began to question if they were a scam or not. And we found out that there are a lot! Many of these online pharmacies didn’t even ask for a prescription! Some of the pages on the website didn’t work, and their contact number was out of order! There were quite a few red flags!

However, we did come across one that my diabetic buddy ordered from and had a great experience. He has been using for the last few months and has saved hundreds on his Apidra and Ozempic. Their temperature-sensitive shipping ensures his medication remains intact from its travels from Canada.

If you order medication from Canada, do diligence and ensure that you are using a safe and reliable pharmacy.

So Should American Diabetics buy Insulin Online from Canada?

It depends on their situation. If your healthcare doesn’t cover most of your diabetic medication costs, buying insulin from Canada might be in your interest. If you have a limit in coverage with your healthcare plan, you may want to substitute some of your purchasing by buying from Canada.

With all these considerations involved, there are many reasons why people will buy drugs online from Canada instead of going to their local pharmacy counter:  –medical insurance coverage, cost savings, ease of access and security, convenience, and other reasonable explanations. If you order insulin from Canada, we highly suggest checking out these online pharmacies and ensuring that the one you choose is reliable and efficient (such as Insulin Outlet). Do your homework and don’t click buy with the first price you see on the internet.

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