There are generics for blood pressure and for cholesterol. If you are in the US, WalMart sells them for 4.00/month- the list of 4.00 prescriptions is huge and they just added more (phase 2). Many of my local stores (meijer, giant eagle) have matched prices to keep the other scripts coming in (meijer actually gives free antibiotics for children now). There are plenty of sulfonylureas (like glimipride) on WalMart's 4.00 list.
When I was put on Actos- I got free samples for 4 months- ask your doctor to get you the samples. The drug company reps give them away like candy. I think there is a generic actos/metformin combo on the market now.
Here's my thinking on insulin- your body runs on insulin- NOT metformin, not actos, not avandia, not sulfonylureas, not Januvia - if diet and exercise do not work for you, why wouldn't you want to take insulin? The orals each have their own set of side effects-that often ruin other parts of your body while helping you to correct your bg. Insulin might make you gain weight because your body is now able to actually use the fuel you give it (so cut back on the fuel). I think I've read that a very very small number of individuals have reactions to the carrier fluid that the insulin is dissolved in- but that can be remedied (there are different brands).
As long as you pay attention to how to match your carb intake to your insulin intake- you shouldn't experience lows. I asked my doctor to put me on insulin when I was diagnosed with a fasting level of 456 and an A1c of 15. The diagnostic test showed that I still make plenty of insulin to meet my needs, so we agreed to try the oral route for awhile- and fortunately I have been able to tame the sugar beast for now- but if I were to start creeping up again, I would hunt around for a doctor who agreed that insulin was the best route to control- you don't walk around with a hang tag that says INSULIN USER- there is no shame in correcting a metabolic defect with a NATURAL substance- the same substance that your body prefers. (off my soap box now). I hope you are doing better these days Kari- I pray for you often.
I was wondering what you were 'baking' down there in your basement- was thinking of offering my superb chemistry skills......sandy