1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Can you buy insulin pen needles over the counter?

Discussion in 'Insulin' started by BooJewels, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. BooJewels

    BooJewels Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    1,158
    Trophy Points:
    158
    I mentioned in another thread that I'd had difficulty with my injection last night and another problem with a leaky pen this morning - so I abandoned that pen thinking the screw/seal end was faulty. Then this evening the needle wouldn't come off the new pen (when I put the cap over it to screw it back off) and I realised that all three problems were with a new box of 6mm needles I'd just opened.

    I tried with a couple of new needles on the old pen and had the same sort of problems as the previous attempts - the pen either leaked around the seal or the needle wouldn't come off - something isn't quite fitting right. The needles are the same spec as I've had previously and the box is very similar graphically, but it's a different brand and the needles look slightly different in construction - enough that I could tell on sight which one was which.

    I'm about to go away and had already packed all my supplies and meds and don't want to have to rely on this dubious box of needles as I don't want them to compromise my insulin pens - or me for that matter. I have a few of the old reliable ones, if I dredge all the places I squirrel away spares, but not enough.

    The pharmacy that supplied them don't open on Saturdays as they're inside my medical practice, so I need to try and source something locally in the morning. Can pharmacies supply something like this without a prescription over the counter? I know the on-line place I buy extra strips sell them for about 9 quid a box, but I'll have to buy it from a pharmacy. Anyone done this before? I can take the other half of my repeat prescription to prove that I need them, but can't help thinking that I might have a battle on my hands.
     
  2. robert72

    robert72 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,884
    Likes Received:
    3,621
    Trophy Points:
    178
    They are not POM so you should be able to buy them from the chemist without a prescription. I used to buy my own disposable syringes and needles in the olden days, before they were available on the NHS.
     
  3. BooJewels

    BooJewels Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    1,158
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Thank you. It looks like a local-ish Tesco pharmacy is open later than I thought, so I'm just going to ring them to see if they have them.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. BooJewels

    BooJewels Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    1,158
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Having wasted most of an evening I couldn't spare ringing round and visiting pharmacies that either weren't open at the published times, or that were open and don't answer the phone, I've struck out this evening. The one pharmacist I did see said they don't stock all of the variants and didn't have my size, but she would have been happy to sell them to me if they had and she'd happily have ordered them for me for Monday. So at least I now know that I should be able to secure some without prescription.

    She said the best bet might be to ring ahead to a pharmacy near where I'm going and asking them to order them in for collection early next week - I can get together a few days supply from the previous batch. So I'll try local pharmacies in the morning and if not successful, I'm familiar with the chemists where we'll be, so can either call or visit to order some in.

    Is it possible to reject/return NHS prescription supplies that are sub-standard? I'm worried that I'll just get the same unsuitable brand on prescription again in future.
     
  5. ewelina

    ewelina Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,341
    Likes Received:
    1,894
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Once i forgot to take needles with me to work and went to nearby pharmacy. They were happy to sell me a box (if i remember well it was about £20 per box, so quite a lot) but the lady kindly gave me two from the spare box they had.
    Im sure you can return faulty supplies. At the end of the day its like a normal shop, its just all paid by NHS not us
     
  6. BooJewels

    BooJewels Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    1,158
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Thanks ewelina.

    Whoa, £20 is a bit steep, I was hoping that they'd be less than that - but I'll just have to pay it. I do have little tubes in all my bags and meter cases with a pair of spares in each, which is why I've been able to find a few of the better ones.

    I'm sure that I'll be able to sort something, but I could really do without the time it has wasted thus far. I'll have to take the duff ones up with my usual pharmacy when I'm back.
     
  7. mammamia2006

    mammamia2006 · Guest

    I would take them back and get new ones as they are faulty. You shouldnt have to spend money on more because the ones you have are faulty.
     
  8. BooJewels

    BooJewels Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    1,158
    Trophy Points:
    158
    I wouldn't buy replacements ordinarily, I would just ring the pharmacy on Monday for replacement, but as I explained in the OP, I'm going away today and the pharmacy that supplied them is closed until Monday. I need something short-term to use for the period that I'm away, until I can sort it out with the original supplying pharmacy when I'm back - and they're open.
     
  9. PatsyB

    PatsyB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,774
    Likes Received:
    13,046
    Trophy Points:
    198
    when i get a prescription for needles they usually have to wait for the next day for them to be delivered :( so yes best to ring first:)
     
  10. borderter

    borderter Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    226
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Dont you have any aquaintances who use insulin? would borrow some if its possible
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. BooJewels

    BooJewels Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    1,158
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Thanks borderter, I don't know anyone else on insulin locally, we'd already racked our brains on that last night.

    But thankfully, the little local Lloyds Pharmacy came up trumps for me. The pharmacist answered the phone when I rang and knew exactly what I needed and didn't think they had any, but took my number and did some checking and found some with a slightly different name that are actually the same. She told me that they'd be expensive and did I not want to wait for a prescription - turns out they were only £10.71 for the 100. My husband took the spoiled pen with him to try one at her insistence and I tried one when he got back and they work perfectly.

    So I'm delighted to have got that sorted and it saves me a job faffing about to find some next week.

    Many thanks for all the support, it's appreciated.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  12. borderter

    borderter Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    226
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Glad its sorted and by the way what needles do you use normally
     
  13. satindoll

    satindoll Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,075
    Likes Received:
    10,410
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Last year the practice manager decided to change my Novo needles to Glucomen needles, not only did I have the same trouble with the fit of the needles, but they bent before insertion and on insertion would deliver the insulin in the wrong place, and caused terrible bruising on my tum and thighs, I was using 3-4 needles per injection, and after the ignominy of my insulin going all over the place in a posh noshery, I went back to the dr and asked for my original needles, they tried to argue the point of cost till I showed them both my tum bruising and thighs and exactly how I injected, at which point they gave in and returned my Novo needles to my repeat prescription
    Cost is not everything or at least it shouldn't be as far as comfort and usability is concerned.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. BooJewels

    BooJewels Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    1,158
    Trophy Points:
    158
    @borderter They're called a universal fit comfort point for a SoloStar pen and I use the 31g 6mm needle.

    @satindoll - it sounds like something similar to my experience with these needles. The back end of one was stuck in the seal on the pen and when I tried to ease the needle cap off, the back part of the needle bent and as soon as I applied a little pressure to straighten it up again as I pulled it out, it broke and the bit stuck in the end of the pen - that could have been in my tummy - it really took negligible pressure to break the needle off - certainly not beyond the pressure of applying the injection to flesh.

    I'm away now, so I'll take it up with the pharmacy when I get home.
     
  15. Cap'n M

    Cap'n M Type 1.5 · Well-Known Member
    Verified HCP

    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    58
    NHS price for NovoFine 6mm/31 gauge, per 100 = £13.02.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Cap'n M

    Cap'n M Type 1.5 · Well-Known Member
    Verified HCP

    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    58
    I cannot find Glucomen needles on the NHS Pricing website but I can find GlucoRx Fine Point. Are these the ones you were given? Anyway, these cost the NHS £5.95 per 100. Got to be a false economy if they're such poor quality that you need 3-4 per dosing!
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook