When you have a treatable disease, your highest priority is obtaining the medication that will keep you stable. Skyrocketing insulin prices restrict diabetics’ freedoms and dictate how they spend their money and time.
The May 14 story, “Diabetics push for insulin-aid bill in Minnesota,” explained that a vial of insulin costs nearly $240, and some diabetics need two or three vials a month. Additionally, those who can’t afford the inflated prices seek different and sometimes dangerous ways to obtain insulin, such as crossing the Canadian border or even seeking insulin on the black market.
While I do not have diabetes, I know several people who rely on insulin to keep their blood-sugar levels stable. So here’s my question: Where does it end? People already feel pressure from increasing insulin and generic drug prices. How long will it be before the price to medicate one’s self becomes too expensive?
My younger brother uses medication to help him breathe normally and keep certain allergies in check. If his medicine became too expensive, my family would be in a similar situation as some families of diabetic.
The “Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act” was a step in the right direction with its promise of a 90-day emergency insulin supply for diabetics. But it isn’t enough. After the proposed emergency supply is up, then the diabetic faces either high insulin prices or the dangerous medical problems such as diabetic ketoacidosis. We need a sustainable and affordable way to acquire insulin, or we could soon be facing an epidemic of preventable deaths.