Hospital pharmacist blasts ‘ungrateful’ diabetes patient on Twitter for wasting over RM3,000 worth of insulin

Mark Ryan Raj
Several boxes of high-priced unused insulin was returned to the hospital, which led to an angered response from Nur. — Picture via Twitter/@shuuueee

PETALING JAYA, Jan 23 — Any diabetic will tell you that insulin is vital for them to keep their condition under control.

Insulin is a hormone that allows people to store glucose from their food for energy or future use, helping to regulate blood sugar levels.

For some diabetics, they need to inject insulin in order to control their blood sugar levels.

In Malaysia, thanks to medical subsidies from the government, patients who receive diabetes treatment at government hospitals get some medication for free, unlike patients in America who pay hundreds of dollars per vial.

So now that you have all the facts, it’s understandable that hospital pharmacist Nur Shuhada blew her top when she came across a patient who returned multiple boxes of unused insulin, as she explained on Twitter two days ago.


She said the patient couldn’t take the mess and clutter that the insulin boxes made at home and decided to return them to the hospital instead since it had not been used.

The patient had apparently been storing all the insulin boxes they had received in their home all this time, without ever using the hormone for medical use, or even opening the box for that matter.

“What the heck. They didn’t use this much of insulin, they just left it at home. And it’s the expensive Novomix one too,” said Nur.

She added that the patient had wasted roughly RM3,000 worth of insulin by not using it as prescribed by the doctor because it is a hospital policy to not “recycle” unused medication that is returned.

Nur explaining why hospitals don’t reuse medicines that are returned. — Screengrab via Twitter/@shuuueee

“All of this is going straight into the trash can because we don’t recycle the medication to be used for other patients,” she said.

“So that’s costs RM3,000 in total. That’s RM3,000 straight into the trash.”

She elaborated in the Twitter thread that although the insulin may have been kept in good condition, no one is to know for sure, and it is a hospital safety policy to just throw it away, to avoid any potential unwanted occurrences.

She wasn’t the only one who was irritated by the patient’s ignorance and wastefulness as her post has since garnered over 2,000 likes with over 3,000 shares, as social media users were quick to criticise the patient’s lackadaisical attitude.

Social media users react to the patient’s wastefulness. — Screengrab via Twitter/@shuuueee

Social media users lambasted the patient for wasting all of that insulin when other less fortunate patients around the country could have benefited from it as they labelled the patient “ungrateful” and “ignorant.”

“Insulin is expensive, don’t you know that? You can’t control your diabetes, you just keep eating a lot and know you’re ungrateful! Didn’t you focus during the counselling sessions? Didn’t you ask questions if you didn’t understand?” wrote one user.

While some users complained that there should be some sort of system to blacklist patients who do not use their medicines.

“If the patient doesn’t take their medication, can we put them on a blacklist or something? It’s such a waste of expensive medicine that others could benefit from!” wrote the user.