The steady vigilance and constant maintenance that type 2 diabetes requires can often result in an ever-growing financial burden.

We know that treating our diabetes in the most effective manner possible is in our best physical interest, but working long hours to afford the medication can quickly negate the positive effects.

Luckily, there are several options available to both those who’ve had diabetes for several years and those recently diagnosed with type 2. If you’re interested in keeping healthy without breaking the bank, read on—because we’ll be going over seven ways you can save on diabetes medication.

  1. Know Your Stuff

Perhaps this tip is more of a prerequisite to the others on this list, but it is no less important.

If you aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of your diabetes and the specific requirements and capabilities of your body, that knowledge can and will save you money.

Knowing various allergies, for instance, can keep you away from generics that could result in adverse effects, or knowing the rules of your specific state could allow you to order medication from foreign pharmacies. Putting in the research will not only reveal more ways to save—but give you a plan of attack to cut back on cost without causing further damage to your body.

  1. Rethink Your Grocery List

Several of those who suffer from type 2 diabetes find themselves purchasing more food and snacks over time to keep up with their blood sugar. Much like medication, this food doesn’t need to come in a fancy package to keep you healthy and happy.For those who suffer from diabetes, eating food is often medication in and of itself.

Look back over your grocery list and see if there’s anywhere that you can cut back or switch to a generic version. Many big box stores offer their own brand of simple snacks like peanuts or candy that are often cheaper than what you may already be buying. Since diabetes is a chronic disease, those extra cents will definitely accumulate over time.

  1. Look To New Technologies

A big part of daily life with diabetes includes the need to check in on blood sugar levels using a blood glucose monitoring system or similar device. You might have purchased one upon diagnosis and long held to it while ignoring the advancements in glucose monitoring technology.

See if other blood glucose monitoring systems provide better metrics or log more information than your current model. Since these machines are often considered medication or necessary supplies by health insurance providers, check with yours to see if your lancets or system is covered.

  1. Stock Up On Generics

Depending upon your treatment plan, you may have been prescribed medication by your doctor that’s costly or involves a co-pay that’s less than ideal. Like most other medications, the name brand you’re being recommended isn’t the active ingredient that’s working to heal your body, so seek out generics whenever possible.

Talk to your doctor about getting your prescription switched to generics, or if generics would be better suited for your individual case. While certain medications are more effective than generic counterparts, you may find that paying for the label just isn’t worth passing up the inexpensive alternative.

  1. Mail-Order Medication

Purchasing in bulk is a well-known tactic for saving a few dollars here and there, but getting bulk medication shipped straight to your door can yield even greater results.  Talk to your doctor about a mail-order prescription for your medication. This is most beneficial to lowering your co-pay—so seek out prescriptions of a longer duration if possible.

However, we do need to bring up a word of caution about going the mail-order route.

Since shipping can often be an unpredictable affair, you may be stuck waiting two weeks or even longer for your medication. If you choose to make the switch, keep enough medication on hand to survive if your medication gets delayed or in case of emergencies.

  1. Switch Up Medications

While we’re on the topic of medications, switching to generics or may not be the only option available to you. Medications like glyburide and those related may seem cheaper to Januvia on the price tag, but the cost efficiency of such medications actually makes Januvia the cheaper option. This is mainly due to the status of Januvia as a DPP-4 inhibitor.

In short—ask your doctor about inhibitors and see if the medication that seems more expensive will actually save you money in the long run. Diabetes is much more like a marathon than a race, so thinking long-term will yield better results.

  1. Find Discount Cards

Finally, if generic medication is still too expensive or your doctor doesn’t want you moving off of name brand medication, consider finding a savings card for a pharmacy near you. Discount cards and pharmacy cards are often free and can lower your cost of medication significantly. By working out contractual agreements and transaction fees with other pharmacy networks, pharmacy cards are able to give you savings without selling your information or costing you a dime.

Looking up the Januvia price and comparing to rates offered by pharmacy card issuers like SingleCare, it’s clear that you can expect a savings of up to 80% when switching over to a card.


The pharmaceutical world is ever-changing and expanding, so the most cost-effective solution today may not remain as such as time moves on.

That’s why it’s important to stay proactive and keep talking to physicians about what’s new in the world of diabetes medication. As we continue to develop insulin, inhibitors, and the technology behind blood glucose monitoring systems, the cheaper products get and the easier it will become to treat your diabetes.

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