By Dr. Kevin Campbell
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30 million Americans have diabetes – representing nearly 10 percent of our population. Those with Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes must inject daily insulin in order to survive. While Type 2 diabetes is far more common than Type 1, nearly one-third of those with Type 2 must also inject insulin on a daily basis. For some, the cost of diabetic supplies – particularly insulin – can lead to negative health consequences. In the last several decades, insulin prices have skyrocketed.
Insulin, discovered in 1921 has no generic competitors – only brand-name products are produced. A new study was presented in late June at the American Diabetes Association’s annual scientific sessions showing that the cost of insulin results in nearly 25 percent of patients not taking insulin as they should. “Self-rationing” of insulin by patients can result in serious and potentially life-threatening complications such as blindness, loss of limbs, kidney failure and even death. Many patients are going to pharmacies only to find out that they must pay hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars for insulin.