Prescriptions and consumables: getting yourself organised

May 31, 2024

Managing your supplies, including your prescription items and consumables, is an important part of life with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Here are some pointers to help you stay organised.

T1D consumables: have a think about what you need

  • Insulin (you need a prescription)
  • Glucagon (you need a prescription)
  • CGM sensors
  • CGM transmitter
  • Over-patches
  • Infusion sets
  • Glucose meter
  • Lancets
  • Strips
  • Needles
  • Spare pens

Tips to help you get stay on top of it all

Don’t leave it too late to order!

  • Some chemists might not have supplies on hand, and they might need to order them in for you.
  • Insulin usually needs to be ordered in. The same may apply for CGM supplies.

Stay on top of your prescriptions

  • Know where your prescription is located. It could be a hard paper copy or it may be sent directly from your doctor to the chemist.
  • Make sure to check the expiry date (12 months from the date the doctor writes it) and also the number of repeats left.
  • Make sure you always have a current prescription and get a new prescription before the old one expires. Check this before each appointment with your doctor. You can also add the expiry date in your phone calendar with a reminder set for a couple of weeks before it expires, so you remember to get a new one in time.
  • Keep a list of consumables and codes you need (but if you usually go to the same chemist they’ll have the list of items that you order on your record – it can be easier to stick to the same chemist!).

Check out online chemist apps

  • Some chemists use online ordering apps (like MedAdvisor). These let you order your items in advance, and then the app lets you know when they’re ready to collect. It saves going into the chemist to order them and then needing to go back!
  • The app also shows how many repeats of a prescription that you have left and the expiry date.
  • Take your cold bag with cold pack when you pick up your insulin. This will keep it cool while transporting straight home to your fridge.

Check your supplies each month

  • You’ll usually need to order your CGM/pump supplies each month anyway, so check all your consumables so you can order them before they run out.
  • Make sure you always have ample spare supplies of everything.
  • Always have one spare transmitter and spare sensors – you never know when a transmitter may fail or a sensor may come off! You can contact the supplier for a replacement transmitter (and sensor) if it fails, but it’s best to have a replacement on hand so you don’t need to wait for one to be sent to you.

A note about overpatches

  • Dexcom overpatches are available free from AMSL Diabetes Online Shop.
  • It’s best to allow a couple of weeks for delivery, so make sure you order while you still have a few left.

Outsource if you can!

  • Companies like Stripped Supply let you order custom-built subscription boxes of all your diabetes supplies. These can be set up to arrive every 30 or 60 days.

Meet other teens and young people living with T1D in our private Facebook group