QUINCY (WGEM) ā People in the Tri-States are feeling the pinch of soaring prescription drug prices.
A new study finds the cost of Insulin for treating type 1 diabetes nearly *doubled* in five years. That jump is having a big impact in Tri-States.
For type 1 diabetics like Jamie Wellman, Insulin is a matter of life or death.
But the price of Insulin is making it harder and harder for diabetics to keep up with the medications they desperately need. Studies show Insulin prices have increased more than 1,000 percent in the past 25 years.
āI typically use 10, 11, 12 a month with running anywhere from $100 to $200 per vial,ā saidĀ Wellman.
The increase is in part to rising list prices and markup over the cost of production.
Wellman said, āitās frustrating because this medicine is something I canāt go without. I need it to live.ā
But in a world of skyrocketing Insulin prices, Wellman says she is one of the lucky ones. Sheās a Blessing employee and thanks to Blessingās āBe Well at Work Program,ā her Insulin and test strips are free.
āMy daily Insulin tripled by the end of my pregnancy and IĀ donāt know if Iād be able to go through that if I had to pay for my Insulin. Without it IĀ donātĀ think my baby would be here right now,āĀ saidĀ Wellman.
At the Blessing Employee Pharmacy, they have a medication fridge filled with all types of Insulin, all with one thing in common: diabetics need these to stay alive.
Without that program and with a newborn baby at home, Wellman worries how sheād survive.
WellmanĀ said, āitād be very difficult, hard on my family, thatās potentially another house payment.ā
Some people do it by turning to drastic measures.
āNumber 1 cause of amputations, number 1 cause of blindness, number 1 cause of kidney damage is diabetes so, we also worry about those good old blood vessels,ā said Patel.
If you are struggling to pay for Insulin, there are options available including patience assistance programs and even a much cheaper version sold at Wal-Mart.
Although, Diabetes Care Specialist,Ā Jennifer Frericks said, āthat insulin is not nearly as good as what we would like them to use.ā
Though Wal-Mart Insulin is older and less stable. FrericksĀ says itās better than rationing or going without, something Dr. Patel agrees with.
āIf we have to use those, they are still available, cut the cost down some but we may lose some control,ā saidĀ Patel.
Now there is a lot being done to stop these skyrocketing price, including congressional hearings.
And diabetics will soon have a cheaper option for Insulin, the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly has announced that it will soon offer a generic version of its top-selling insulin at half the price.
If youāre not a Blessing employee and struggling to pay for Insulin there are options for you. If youāre a Blessing patient, contact your physician so you can get in touch with a care coordinator and find a program based on your income