What We’re Reading: Retailers Offer Free Diabetes Medicine

Between medicines, monitoring equipment, and medical co-pays, managing diabetes can be expensive. So the announcement that two popular retail chains — Meijer and Publix — have introduced programs providing free generic metformin to people with Type 2 diabetes may come as welcome news.


As part of a healthy-living initiative to provide certain medicines at no cost to shoppers, Meijer will supply generic immediate-release metformin in tablet strengths of 500 milligrams, 850 milligrams, and 1,000 milligrams. Up to 100 tablets are covered per prescription fill, and refills are also free. The Publix Pharmacy Diabetes Management System provides no-cost generic immediate-release metformin in tablet strengths of 500 milligrams, 850 milligrams, and 1,000 milligrams. Up to 90 tablets are provided per prescription fill, and refills are free.

For more information about these programs, see the Meijer and Publix Web sites. And to learn more about metformin, click here.

This blog entry was written by Web Editor Diane Fennell.

Learn more about the health and medical experts who who provide you with the cutting-edge resources, tools, news, and more on Diabetes Self-Management.
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  • linda

    This is wonderful!!!I hope this concept spreads to other pharmacies such as Walgreens or Walmart.
    What I would really like to see is a ‘roll back’ on the cost of test strips.

  • Nol

    Its a good offer to avail. If this offer is really true, this will be a big help, considering the monthly expenses I am spending for metformin medicine, on my Type 2 diabetis. I will try following the guideline on the above article, so I can avail of the free metformin medicine. Hope it will be for real. – Thanks. Best regards.

  • Vonnie De Rico

    That is very generous of Publix. Thanks.

  • mary

    Could this be because the drug companies know that this med is dangerous to consumers? I, for one, ended up in the ICU with lactic acidosis caused by Metformin. Read an article about this med being a cousin of a drug that was pulled off the market due to the danger it posed to people who were taking it. I am sure it works well for some, but seems rather risky.

  • Ann

    Do you have to go to one of their stores or can you order online from anywhere?

  • Ruth

    Where on earth are these pharmacies located?? It’s a little hard to track them down.

  • john c

    Yes Meijer does this..just got my rx done there today..saved me a few dollars! Hope all pharamcies will follow suit ūüôā

  • Philip

    I think that’s great that you can obtain diabetic drugs for free…. Sadly the drug stores offering this deal are NOT located in my area of the country, oh well life will go on … Thank you anyway Philip a & year diabetic who is happily controlled the wonder drug Byetta ….. and other drug combination’s

  • Philip

    Opps I meant 6 years SORRY bout the typo

  • Amy

    Metformin has been causing diarrhea. It is so bad I can’t go anywhere and feel safe. Any way I can stop this?

  • Porter Versfelt III

    Mary, your problem with Metformin should be addressed to your physician for not completely knowing your medical needs, NOT with the drug itself or with the pharmacies who sell it.

    I and many thousands of Americans benefit from Metformin for treating our Type II diabetes.

    I took advantage of the free generic Metformin from Publix earlier this week.

    It is obvious to me that they are doing this hoping that grateful customers will switch their other prescriptions to Publix, which will certainly profit from those prescriptions. It’s a smart move in my opinion and you will see more of this from pharmacies in the near future.

    There IS no free lunch OR truly “free” Metformin.

  • Brenda

    I wish I could take metformin, but it upsets my stomach even if I eat or drink with it………..

  • Lisa Reinbolt

    We don’t have either of these two store chains where I live in Rochester NY. With My Husband out of work and being unable to work Myself, this would have been such a help.
    Can we plan on seeing this in other more widely used chain stores soon and in more states?
    Walmart, Tops, Wegmans stores are the largest chains we have here in NY. Also Target. Please
    consider it. We really need this right now.

  • Marcia

    I am taking Metformin 1,000 mg generic @ Kroger 90 day supply @ $10. This is half the price of taking 2 500mg pills.

    It is $186 for 90 day supply as the combo with glyburide. Take that separate for $10. Get the double strength and cut it in half. This saves $166 every 90 days.

    I get my Rx on Wednesday and get the Senior Citizen’s discount. Every $ helps.

  • Curt

    I was caught off guard when I went to pick up my prescriptions from Publix. They told me about the program and I didn’t have to do a thing to get them for free. Way to go Publix!!!1

  • Michael

    Anyone ever find anything like that for people with type 1?

  • Cher B

    This would be nice if we had those stores in our area.

  • Sandy

    I think it’s fantastic! Free Metformin. I also agree with Linda about the “roll back” prices for testing strips. You hear all the advertisements on TV about free gloucose meters, but they don’t tell you about the high prices for the testing strips. You are supposed to test daily and multiple times a day… I can’t afford to do that. I test every few days. Thank heaven I’m not on insulin.

  • janet roman

    This is for immediate release MEtformin – that one does not agree with me. I have to take Metformin ER (extended release). Walmart is very reasonably priced. I pay $10 for 3 month supply.

  • Carole Mauldin

    My kidney doctor took me off of metformin. He said it can be damaging to the kidneys.

  • Travis

    That’s wonderful for people with Type 2, but what about us Type 1s? I have been laid off for over 15 months now, my COBRA will not pay for more than $300 out of pocket maximum/year (which I expended in the first month) and my insulin & supply costs, as there is no generic for us, are over $500/month.
    My unemployment will run out eventually and I will not be able to pay for my insulins. I live with my parents so I do not qualify for welfare or any of the money saving programs.
    (My dad has been laid off also, and mom can’t work, so they can’t help.)
    Where are the helpful drug companies for those of us in this boat? And where is the Lantus and Novolog going to come from which I NEED to live? Type 2s can get generic, why can’t we????

  • Joan

    IF Publix and Meijer would offer all other meds for free, I could see this as a good idea. However, many people take a good number of meds, and the pharmacist MUST know about ALL the other meds for safety purposes.

    I would suggest paying more for the metformin and staying safe.

  • Joan

    I am with Travis, who posted May 5 at 1231pm. Well said. Let’s see if anyone is listening.

  • Jan Chait

    Please check with your doctor to see if any of the insulin companies have a program to provide insulin free of charge to those who cannot afford it. If you can’t afford to see your doctor, try a free clinic, speak to somebody at a diabetes education center, or go to the emergency room and ask to see a social worker. Many medicines are offered free of charge by the manufacturers.

    As I recall, Wal-Mart sells a store brand of insulin at a lower cost than the name brands. (Actually, the “house” brand is made by one of the name brand companies.)

    I know it’s old-school, but many of us used Regular before the rapid-acting insulins were available. It costs a lot less money than the rapid-acting insulins. I still use it when I run low on my rapid-acting and it’s my “Plan B” if I run out of insulin and don’t have any with me.

    Good luck to you.


  • Timothy Miller

    After loosing alot of weight. I’am managing my diabetes much better. Thing everyone know’s that is true in most cases if you are overweight. However in doing this it means extra finger pricking and testing. That is where the cost comes in. Test strips. Sure I can get samples of meds. Or free or very low priced meds. Meters free offers all over the place. I have about 4 now. But you try to buy strips for them and bam. Worse than buying my car insurance. That’s the catch we will give you a free meter but you will have to use ours strips which will break you. Everything in them is plastic wire etc, all reasonable or in fact cheap material. And were stuck with all diabetics same old problem. We cant afford it. With all the side effects of diabetes while the drug Co. get Fatter. Respectfully But mad Tim Miller

  • FreeloaderFred

    Thank you, Giant Eagle.
    With this and the $4/$10 30/90 day prices on a lot of medicines, we can now afford to stay current on the medications prescribed.
    Kroger and Wal-Mart are not as comprehensive on all Rx, but we are still grateful for their assistance.

  • JOSEPH . F

    I got my metformin from MEIJER”S AS SOON AS I as heard about it.I live in Plainfield,IL. luckily a pharmasy is in my area to go to. I hope there would be more drugs that would be available to people who can”t afford the expense.I wonder who”s idea was this.

  • JOSEPH . F


  • Carol Wheeler

    This might be good but there are no stores in my area either Publix or Meier, so it doesn’t do any good at all. You have to live in certain areas to be able to take advantage of this free Metformin deal.

  • Tia

    I printed out the $4-30 day/$10-90 day Walmart prescription list and handed it to my doctor. I told her flat out, if it’s not on THIS list, I don’t want it. I’m on 2 types of diabetes meds, high blood pressure and cholesterol meds.

    Now I pay a total of $40 for a 90 day supply of meds. It’s cheaper than using my health insurance. How cool is that?

    Remember… your doctors are employed by YOU! If you don’t like what they’re doing and they don’t listen to you… fire them.



  • Indra G.

    My husband and I use an Accu-Chek Aviva BG tester. It comes with a card that allows you to purchase the strips from a drug store for no more than $15 per month. However, we get our strips from Rite Aid and we pay nothing for them out of pocket. That’s right …… zero dollars. He tests about 5 times a day, and I test at least 4 times. Check it out!

  • lee mathers

    I checked this out and they are in minn. and mich. They have no online ordering nor mail order service… would be nice to get my meds. free but I live in Calif. and cant take advantage of their offer. too bad………

  • Diane Fennell

    Hi Ruth,

    Thanks for your question. Meijer stores are located in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. Publix stores are located in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida.

    Diane Fennell
    Web Editor

  • Diane

    Shop Rite in New Jersey is providing the free metformin as well.

  • David

    Price Chopper (PA NY VT NH) also has a free diabetes medicine program. They also offer 100 free lancets, pen needles and insulin syringes monthly too. Way to go, thinking of the insulin using diabetics!

  • peace59

    is there anywhere in Ga. that gives the meters and strips without having any ins. He is out of work and no income at the moment. He takes glipcide. thanks

  • maribel

    Hi, Am new in this site an am trying to find a pharmacy that give free medication for diabetes am type 2 I use insulin and pills too. but know I don’t have insurance card at all please help me to find a pharmacy that can help me.

  • marcy

    If you’re looking for free diabetes offers, Check out Medicationcoupons.com. They have a bunch of diabetes freebies, not to mention lots of drug coupons for many diabetes medications.

  • kathie howard


  • paula

    I too need Metformin as well as other medications but I live on LI, New York. Can we send the prescriptions to the states where they are very kindly helping out patients with diabetes by giving free metformin? Would appreciate any help I can get. Thank you in advance.