Queasy Tales of Warm Insulin

Recently, a reader shared how several pharmacies improperly stored her daughter’s insulin. When that article posted, other readers chimed in with their own misadventures at the pharmacy desk.

The pharmacy didn’t admit the problem was theirs. I used the insulin for three days after purchase and then returned it all, but the pharmacist refused to exchange the insulin. He said the law forbid him from taking drugs back and I couldn’t get more until the next refill date. I called our insurance nurse, who straightened it out for me.
-Patty V.

We got a bad box from a pharmacy once, but couldn’t prove it. However, the pharmacist was the one who fought the insurance company on the early refill, since we couldn’t afford the out-of-pocket price. It’s a prime example of another complexity to Type 1 diabetes.
-Abbey P.

I just applied for a pharmacy job. The day I see insulin not stored properly is the day I lose my temper and get fired. When you mess with insulin, you’re messing with someone’s life
-Lindsey J.

I’ve never been given unrefrigerated insulin, but the techs almost always try to look in the bins or under the counter. On several occasions I’ve had to tell them to look in the fridge.
-Stephanie F.

This happens to me all the time! I have gone to pick up insulin on many occasions, and the boxes were warm! I always make them pull new boxes out of the fridge.
-Kate R.

I don’t use mail order any more for this reason. I hate troubleshooting bad insulin.
-Kent L.

If you have a story of Type 1 malpractice you think others need to be warned about, email me at

All comments are subject to edit for length and clarity, not content.

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Craig Idlebrook is a past editor for Insulin Nation, Type 2 Nation, and Información Sobre Diabetes. He is now the community engagement and content manager for T1D Exchange.

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