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US: OTC Over the counter/no Rx required:

No Rx Needed-Insulin-US

Humulin 50/50
Humulin 70/30
Humulin N
Humulin R
Novolin 70/30
Novolin N
Novolin R
ReliOn/Novolin 70/30
ReliOn/Novolin NPH
ReliOn/Novolin R

The insulins listed above need no prescription to be purchased in the US. Rule of thumb is that if it is an analog insulin, it will require a prescription. The beef and pork insulins of CP Pharma require Rx because they are not US-FDA-approved, and the veterinary insulins available in the US (Vetsulin, PZIVet), were FDA-approved as prescription-only medications. Though not required by law, the policy of the pharmacy you deal with may be to require a prescription.

Canada: OTC Over the counter/no Rx required:

If the insulin is not sold in Canada, special paperwork will be needed to obtain it, however.

In honor of the discovery of insulin in Canada by Banting and Best, Canadian law mandates that ALL insulins sold in the country must be able to be purchased without need of a prescription.

UK/EU: In the UK and most other countries, ALL insulin is by prescription only. Insulins you see listed here would require a prescription outside of the US and Canada.

No Rx Needed-Insulin-Countries[1]

Bulgaria
Canada
Costa Rica
France
Italy
Mexico
Philippines
Puerto Rico
New Zealand
Some report having been asked for a prescription
Switzerland
Turkey


Some countries also require a prescription for insulin syringes and/or pen needles.

No Rx Needed-Syringes-Countries[2]

Austria
Bulgaria
Canada
Costa Rica
France
Germany
Italy
Mexico
Philippines
New Zealand
May need to show proof of diabetes
Slovenia
Switzerland
Turkey
UK
May need to show proof of diabetes

In the US, whether or not you need a prescription for syringes/pen needles is determined by state, not US, law. The laws of your state[3] will apply re: syringes/pen needles requiring a prescription. If you order syringes or pen needles online, the law of the state where you're ordering them from will apply. If you order from a business whose state does not require a prescription for syringes or pen needles, you will not need one, even if the laws of your state of residence say you do. Conversely, if you live in a state where there's no mandatory prescription for syringes or pen needles and order from a company in a state where a prescription is necessary, you will need one to do business with them.

The difference here, for those in the US regarding insulins and syringes is that federal law (US-FDA) regulates which insulins are prescription required, but state law governs whether one is needed for syringes and pen needles.

Even if you buy syringes and pen needles from a local pharmacy and don't live in a state which requires a prescription for them, the policy of the pharmacy itself may be to require a prescription for them.

See also category Rx Status for information not covered here.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Diabetes 123-Prescription Laws From Around the World
  2. Diabetes 123-Prescription Laws From Around the World
  3. Diabetes123.com State Laws For Obtaining Syringes/Pen Needles

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