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Where to buy cheap Diabetes Medicine in Singapore for Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is a condition which requires long-term medications and treatments for management. Cut the costs of medication by finding out where you can find affordable diabetes medication in Singapore.

by Grace Koh

Type 2 Diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes, occurs when insulin resistance develops in the body or when the body is unable to produce enough insulin. This condition occurs most commonly in people aged 40 and above, especially in those who are overweight and physically inactive.

In mild cases, lifestyle modifications may be enough to treat the condition. However, most patients with Type 2 Diabetes typically require medication. Diabetes medicines that promote insulin production, lower blood glucose, or increase the sensitivity of the cells in the body to insulin can be prescribed by treatment providers. Insulin therapy may also be recommended for those whose pancreas cannot produce sufficient insulin.

Given that long-term treatment is often necessary, how much does it cost? 

Testing for Type 2 Diabetes in Singapore

To get tested for diabetes, you may talk to your doctor about your concerns and they may order for a blood test to be done. There are several different types of blood tests: 

Testing your blood glucose levels

1. Random blood glucose

A blood sample is taken at random without fasting. A random blood glucose greater than 11.1 mmol/L may indicate diabetes.

2. Fasting blood glucose

After fasting overnight, a blood sample will be taken. A fasting blood sugar of 7.0 mmol/L or higher indicates diabetes. As this test is easy to perform, it is one of the most frequently used methods to diagnose diabetes.

blood glucose chart

3. Oral glucose tolerance test

You will be asked to fast overnight, and your fasting blood glucose level will be taken through a blood sample. Afterwards, you will be asked to drink a liquid containing 75g of sugar. More blood samples will be taken thereafter. If there is a fasting reading of 7.0 mmol/L or a glucose reading of > 11.1 mmol/L two hours after consuming the drink, it may indicate that you have diabetes.

Go for a health screening that screens for diabetes

Screen For Life

Singapore’s Screen For Life initiative, which encourages Singapore citizens to go for regular health screenings and follow-ups, provides access to highly subsidised diabetes tests according to your age.

Age group / demographicSubsidized price
Singaporeans aged 18 to 39 (only if at risk based on Diabetes Risk Assessment test)$5
Singaporeans aged 40 and above$5
CHAS (Community Health Assist Scheme) card holders$2
Pioneer Generation (aged 65 and above in 2014)Free

Otherwise, you can opt for a diabetes test at various health screening centres, private clinics and hospitals. Prices range from $50 to $80. 

Can you get diabetes medicine over the counter?

No. You cannot get diabetes medication over the counter. You must first get a prescription from your general practitioner, family doctor, or a local clinic. Afterwards, you can repurchase your medication from pharmacies, polyclinics, or hospitals, or have it delivered to your doorstep with Homage.

To ensure that your treatment is effective, it is important for you to follow the doctor’s prescription rather than trying to self-medicate.

Where to get diabetes medicine in Singapore?

You have to first get a diagnosis from your general practitioner, family doctor or polyclinic. Thereafter, you may get access to diabetes medicine with your prescription at the following places:

Type 2 diabetes medicine prices in Singapore 

Drugs

Here are some drugs used for Type 2 Diabetes treatment and management:

Type of diabetes medicationCommon brand namesWhat it does
Sul-fonyl-ureasTolbutamide, Glibenclamide (Daonil), Glipizide (Minidiab), Gliclazide (Diamicron)Stimulate the pancreas to release insulin, so as to lower blood sugar levels
Bi-gua-nidesMetformin (Glucophage)Helps to reduce insulin resistance in cells
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitorsAcarbose (Glucobay)Helps to slow down sugar absorption in the intestine, and prevent a sudden increase in blood sugar after eating
GLP-1 AgonistsDulaglutide, SemaglutideStimulates glucose-dependent insulin release, helps to decrease appetite, keep someone full for longer, and decrease glucagon secretion
SGLT2 InhibitorsCanagliflozin, Dapagliflozin, EmpagliflozinHelps to control blood glucose levels by making the kidneys excrete excess glucose in the urine
DPP-4 InhibitorsSitagliptin, VildagliptinIncreases the insulin release after a meal, and decreases the amount of sugar made by the liver
Thia-zoli-dine-dionesRosiglitazone Maleate, PioglitazoneImproves the body’s sensitivity to insulin by reducing fatty acid concentrations and fat availability in the liver and muscles
Meg-liti-nidesNateglinide, RepaglinideStimulates the pancreas to release insulin after a meal

Source: Healthline

How much do they cost? The Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore (PSS) has compiled a list of common diabetes medicines with prices. This can be a helpful tool for you to find the most cost-efficient option.

Drug TypeDrug Type and Common Brand NamesDosePrice Range per Pill (SGD)
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitorsAcarbose50 mg$0.50 - $0.60
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitorsAcarbose100 mg$0.72 - $0.85
Sul-phonyl-ureasGlibenclamide5 mg$0.06 - $0.40
Sul-phonyl-ureasGliclazide (MR Tablet)30 mg$0.84 - $0.90
Sul-phonyl-ureasGliclazide (MR Tablet)60 mg$1.60 - $1.80
Sul-phonyl-ureasGliclazide80 mg$0.27 - $1.05
Sul-phonyl-ureasGlimepiride1 mg$0.70 - $0.74
Sul-phonyl-ureasGlimepiride2 mg$1.10 - $1.20
Sul-phonyl-ureasGlimepiride3 mg$1.60 - $1.79
Sul-phonyl-ureasGlipizide5 mg$0.13 - $0.70
Sul-phonyl-ureasTolbutamide500 mg$0.10 - $0.12
Bi-gua-nidesMetformin (HCL Tablet)250 mg$0.07 - $0.20
Bi-gua-nidesMetformin (HCL Tablet)500 mg$0.07 - $0.15
Bi-gua-nidesMetformin (HCL Tablet)850 mg$0.26 - $0.32
Bi-gua-nidesMetformin (HCL Tablet)1000 mg$0.30 - $0.31
Bi-gua-nidesMetformin (XR Tablet)500 mg$0.29 - $0.31
Bi-gua-nidesMetformin (XR Tablet)750 mg$0.40 - $0.45
Bi-gua-nidesMetformin (XR Tablet)1000 mg$0.54 - $0.61
Thia-zoli-dine-dionesRosiglitazone Maleate4 mg$3.45 – $3.48
Thia-zoli-dine-dionesRosiglitazone Maleate8 mg$5.84
Thia-zoli-dine-dionesPioglitazone15 mg$2.80 - $4.02
Thia-zoli-dine-dionesPioglitazone30 mg$3.75 - $6.26
Thia-zoli-dine-dionesNateglinide120 mg$0.85 - $0.95
Thia-zoli-dine-dionesRepaglinide0.5 mg$0.54 - $0.60
Thia-zoli-dine-dionesRepaglinide1 mg$0.78 - $0.80
Thia-zoli-dine-dionesRepaglinide2 mg$1.04 - $1.10
Thia-zoli-dine-dionesSitagliptin25 mg$3.65 - $3.75
Thia-zoli-dine-dionesSitagliptin50 mg$3.65 - $3.75
Thia-zoli-dine-dionesSitagliptin100 mg$3.65 - $3.70
Thia-zoli-dine-dionesVildagliptin50 mg$1.91 - $2.00
GLP-1 AgonistSemaglutide (Ozempic)Per injection pen$300 -$400
GLP-1 AgonistSemaglutide (Rybelsus)Per tablet$6.75 - $11.95

Source: Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore

Insulin

Insulin might also be required in the management of Type 2 Diabetes. There are various types of insulin brands available at varying prices.

Common Brand NamesBrand Name and Delivery TypeDosePrice Range (SGD)
Humulin 30/701.5 ml Cartridge-$7.69
Humulin N1.5 ml Cartridge100 IU/ml$7.69
Humulin R1.5 ml Cartridge100 IU/ml$7.69
Humulin 30/703 ml Cartridge-$13.72 - $14.07
Humulin N3 ml Cartridge100 IU/ml$13.72 - $14.07
Humulin R3 ml Cartridge100 IU/ml$13.72 - $14.07
NovorapidPenfill100 IU/ml$16.30 - $102.75
Apidra-300 IU/3ml$18.30 - $20.00
InsulatardPenfill100 IU/ml$18.45 - $94.15
Actrapid HMPenfill100 IU/ml$18.83 - $18.84
Mixtard 30 HMPenfill-$18.83 - $18.84
HumalogPenfill100 IU/ml$19.43 - $21.40
Humalog Mix 25Pen-$19.43 - $21.40
NovorapidFlexpen100 IU/ml$20.15 - $23.07
Humalog Mix 25Vial-$20.55
Novomix 30Flexpen-$20.60 - $24.20
ActrapidNovolet100 IU/ml$20.98
InsulatardNovolet100 IU/ml$20.98 - $104.90
Mixtard 30 HMNovolet-$20.98 - $104.90
LevemirFlexpen14.2 mg/ml (100IU)$34.24 - $37.20
Lantus Solostar-300 IU/ 3ml$36.50 - $40.15
LantusCartridge100 IU/ml$36.70 - $110.00
Humulin 30/70Vial-$41.15 - $43.66
Humulin LVial100 IU/ml$41.14
Humulin NVial100 IU/ml$41.15 - $43.66
Humulin RVial100 IU/ml$42.00 - $80.00
Actrapid HMVial100 IU/ml$54.05 - $57.80
InsulatardVial100 IU/ml$54.05 - $57.80
Mixtard 30 HMVial-$54.05 - $57.80
HumalogVial100 IU/ml$61.40 - $67.10
Mixtard 50 HMPenfill-$94.15
LantusrDNA Vial100 IU/ml$102.95 - $119.85

Source: Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore

Type 2 Diabetes medication can be obtained from a private clinic, polyclinic, or a hospital after your consultation. With Homage, you can get your diabetes medicine delivered to your doorstep. Simply arrange for a teleconsultation with one of our doctors and have your medicine prescribed and delivered on the same day.

In addition, Homage provides caregiving services for your loved ones at every stage. Our trained care professionals are able to provide companionship, nursing care, night caregiving, home therapy and more, to keep your loved ones active and engaged. 

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References
  1. Bunag, R. L. N. (2021, June 23). Type 1 vs Type 2 Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms & Prevention. Homage. Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://www.homage.sg/health/type-1-type-2-diabetes/
  2. Cherney, K. (2022, October 13). A Complete List of Diabetes Medications. Healthline. Retrieved 15 November, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/medications-list
  3. Diabetes in Singapore – Guide to Cost of Screening, Treatment & Medication. (2020, September 17). MoneySmart.Sg – Tips, Tricks and Uncommon Wisdom to Help You Get More Out of Your Money. Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://blog.moneysmart.sg/healthcare/cost-diabetes-treatment-singapore/
  4. MEDICATIONS FOR TREATMENT OF DIABETES. (2018, February 6). Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. https://www.pss.org.sg/sites/default/files/2018_diabetes_compiled_price_list.pdf
  5. Ming, ​.T.M. (n.d.). Diabetes: How to Diagnose? – HealthXchange. Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://www.healthxchange.sg/diabetes/essential-guide-diabetes/how-diagnose-diabetes
  6. Screen for Life – National Health Screening Programme. (n.d.). Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://www.healthhub.sg/programmes/61/screen_for_life
  7. Tan, K. (2022, August 17). Diabetes Treatment in Singapore 2022: A Complete Guide (Costs and More). NOVI Health. Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://novi-health.com/library/guide-to-diabetes-treatment-in-singapore
Category
Lifestyle
About the Writer
Grace Koh
Apart from reading, singing, and plodding up muddy trails, Grace enjoys scribbling notes and thinking up a storm. She is particularly interested in community support for the special needs population, and learning and education.
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