Thursday, 23 May 2019

Insulin or liquid gold? The unfair cost of having diabetes in America – The Reflector online

Throughout medical history, insulin has been prescribed to Type 1 diabetics in order to provide them with a somewhat normal life due to their bodies being unable to make insulin on its own. With that being said, insulin prices have increasingly changed for the worse in the recent years. Due to either government regulations or pharmaceutical greed, insulin has skyrocketed and Type 1 diabetics are caught in the cross fire.

According to Reuters for NBC News, “The cost of insulin for treating Type One diabetes in the United States nearly doubled over a recent five-year period, underscoring a national outcry over rising drug prices.” Due to its high demand and guaranteed consumer market, insulin has become like liquid gold for pharmaceutical companies.

I was diagnosed with Type 1 juvenile diabetes at 15 months old. As a result, I have been an insulin consumer for 20 years of my life, so I have grown up seeing the constant increase in insulin prices. My mom recently looked at me and said, “Please don’t stop using your insulin because you are worried about the cost. Your health is way more important than any amount of money.” 

No one should have to look at their child with a life-altering illness, tell them to take the insulin and not worry about the cost. According to CNN Wire for Fox40, one teen, Dillon Hooley, cut back drastically on the use of insulin to save his parents money. However, when Hooley began to ration his insulin doses, his health took a turn for the worse because of it.

People are sacrificing their health and overall well being due to the price of something they cannot live without. This is an issue that is not receiving enough coverage, and it is sickening. How many people have to die as a result of greedy pharmaceutical price tags in order for a change to be made? Our health has become a pawn in the medical, insurance and pharmaceutical providers sick game with one goal: raising the price of insulin. 

In an investigation reported by Advisory Board, Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) debunked the 300 percent rise in insulin prices. “According to the investigation, insulin prices have increased over the past few years because ‘the insulin market has an influx of upward price pressures without offsetting downward forces.'” Reed and DeGette found “the structure of the insulin delivery and payment pathways create several incentives for entities along these pathways to artificially raise the price of insulin.”

In non-medical terms, the two basically found there is a higher concern for profit and money than the well-being of the patients. 

This is an issue I am passionate and angry about, and I have every right to be. People should not have to compromise their health by rationing insulin because they simply cannot afford it. Big corporations have forgotten the people they affect and are currently causing to suffer further. We must bring attention to this issue. The more we talk and the more we fight about this issue, the better our chances for a fair price.


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