By Ilene Raymond Rush
When his type 1 diabetes patients can’t keep up with the high cost of insulin, Mark Schutta half-jokingly offers a radical solution: Buy an off-season ticket to France.
On a recent trip to the country, Schutta visited a small-town pharmacy to price several types of insulin and found that they cost one-fifth or one-sixth the U.S. price. So now the director of the Rodebaugh Center for Diabetes at Penn wryly advises patients to head to Europe to purchase a year’s supply and bring it home.
Federal authorities, who frown on people carrying large amounts of foreign drugs into the county, may not agree. But the rising cost of insulin and other supplies required to manage diabetes is such a huge issue that Schutta’s suggestion could sound like a great idea to many people.