INSULIN STORIES

How has the rising cost of insulin impacted you or the person you care for?

Alex S.

“Insulin is not a luxury drug. It’s not optional. It’s something we need, and the prices just keep going up. There’s a lot of support in the diabetes community, but at the end of the day you’re still the one living with it and it’s your life that’s at stake. That’s scary.”

Alex S.
Bill K.

“My fiancée and I spend $280 every three weeks for her insulin. Her insurance doesn’t cover the drug she uses, but it’s the only one that’s worked well for her. Do we sell the house that we just built or do we live? Those are the choices we face.”

Bill K.
Tami H.

“Insulin is lifesaving. There’s no reason that any of my patients should have to take less insulin than I prescribe because they can’t afford it.”

Tami H.
Tanya W.

“When considering a new job, most people care mainly about the salary being offered or the job requirements. For me, my employment is driven by the benefits package. It’s better for me to take a job with a lower salary if it means the health insurance will cover the insulin I need.”

Tanya W.
Ann Marie S.

“One of my biggest fears is that someday when my son is on his own that he won’t be able to afford the insulin needed to keep him alive. How will our children do it? As parents of a child with type 1 we have enough to worry about every minute of every day let alone how they will afford to survive someday.”

Ann Marie S.
Brigid D.

“At times, I will starve to reduce my insulin needs to ensure I have enough insulin for my child.”

Brigid D.
Valerie T.

“I’ve been fighting breast cancer which has wiped out our finances. My 20 year old son comes home from being a missionary in Mexico soon and I don’t know how we will afford his insulin and college tuition. Should he have to choose between staying alive or going to college?”

Valerie T.

“My kids, age four and six, would love to go to Disney World. Instead of Disney, we go to Canada every year to buy insulin for our four year old. I guess Elsa and Anna at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital will have to do.”

Shawn H.
Melissa A.

“I started a full-time master’s program in 2014 at Arizona State. I had insurance through the school that had a discount for prescriptions but no prescription coverage. I thought my insulin would be around $250 a month. When I filled my prescription for the first time, I burst into tears at the drive-up window when they told me it was $579. I was living off student loans and a small school stipend. I had to put it on credit cards for the rest of the time I was in school. A year and a half later, I finally just paid off the cost of my insulin.”

Melissa A.
Michael K.

“This past year I was paying more than $700 per month for my Humalog. This “cost of staying alive” represents 59% of my monthly mortgage payment and 143% of my monthly insurance premium. I know that pharmaceutical companies spend large sums of money on research and development for new and existing drugs. Why does a drug that has been in the market for such a long time, continue to sell at an extremely high cost?”

Michael K.

“My first year with type 1 diabetes was 2012, and I had a $40 copay for three months and could choose any insulins available. Today I pay full price ($350-$500) per box of pens up to my deductible of $6000 ($12000 next year!). Same employer, same insurance company through it all. It changes almost everything. Having $6000 of “added” expenses every year reduces the amount we have for everything else. Next year I will be breaking the law and buying my insulin in other countries. Even with travel, it’s much less expensive than buying it with insurance. Next year the $12,000 deductible is going to be even more difficult.”

Anonymous

“The rising cost of insulin has severely impacted me financially. Four years ago, I paid $80 for a three-month supply of Humalog for my pump. Now, before I reach my deductible, that three-month supply has risen to around $1,740. Once the deductible has been met, the cost “drops” to $740. My son who also has type 1 diabetes has also experienced similar costs. I’ve had to drain most of my savings to be able to afford Humalog.”

Anonymous

“Our costs out of pocket will be a minimum of $7000 in 2017 for our son. That changes everything. I don’t know how we will make ends meet until we meet the deductible.”

Anonymous

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Have you had a problem affording the insulin you need? Share your story.