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November 15, 2007

Insulin Pumps

Question from Portugal:

Can I purchase an insulin pump for my daughter in the U.S. and then have her managed by doctors in Portugal? How much does a pump cost? We are U.S. citizens living in Portugal.where pump use is not very common.

Answer:

One cannot simply purchase an insulin pump in the U.S. as it needs a physician’s prescription. It also requires a series of steps to educate one in its use so it can be utilized safely. A pump costs about $6000 plus ongoing catheters and syringes as supplies. It is best to read about pump treatment in books such as Type 1 Diabetes in Children, Adolescents and Young Adults, Second Edition by Ragnar Hanas, M.D. and Pumping Insulin, Fourth Edition by John Walsh and Ruth Roberts as well as MiniMed Medtronic’s Insulin Pump Therapy Book. We usually require such reading and specific steps of preparation for one to three months ahead of pump transition.

SB