Have you ever seen a story in the news about the rising cost of oil prices? Usually a photo of men hovering together as if to show that they control the price per barrel and the rest of the world can only watch and wait…..and bear the brunt of whatever decision is made. You’ve seen it, right?
The cry came forward from administration to administration how we had to be less reliant of foreign control of oil prices. It impacts us all. It’s a scary thought when we are confronted with the fact that a few are making a decision impacting many. Because of this impact, it garners the attention of the news media.
When it comes to diabetes, there has been stories lately that seem to be missed by many and is becoming an increasingly worry-some fact. The cost of insulin has been on the rise. It’s been on the rise for some time. In a Los Angeles Times article by David Lazarus almost a year ago he quotes Dr. Mayer Davidson, “…..Davidson cited a recent paper in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. showing that prices of both generic and patented insulins have jumped more than 500% since 2001. The cost of a vial of one of the most commonly used fast-acting insulins, Humalog, soared to $234 this year from $35 in 2001, the journal said….” (9/4 2015 LA Times)
What? And who do you think pays this? Answer, us.
It’s not as if there is a shortage. The American Diabetes Association states on their webpage; “ All insulin available in the United States is manufactured in a laboratory, but animal insulin can still be imported for personal use.” (Cite: Click Insulin Basics).
Now to me, I take it that there should be a fairly limitless supply as long as the manufacturing equipment has the materials needed. I’m pretty sure they do. So if there is enough to make what is needed, why the rise in cost?
This rise in insulin cost, to me, is just because a few companies control the substance that keeps people alive. They can dictate the prices because it’s not as if there are a million brands that would keep the consumer cost to a minimum, so much for consumer choice. It’s because you have a choice of only a few. Demand dictates cost. With over 29 million people with diabetes and millions of those on insulin with only a few choices…….well that equals what we are now facing. Glut. Greed. Money. Costs escalating.
But when people are prolonging their insulin doses by cutting back on what they feel ‘they absolutely need to have’ due to high costs, as oppose to what the doctor, recommends, and what the patient knows they need; ladies and gentlemen—-this is a real problem. This could cost lives.
Keep your eyes open on this topic. When you see advocates asking for actions, act. Join dPac today. If you have diabetes or a loved one with diabetes, this is site you might want to follow as they do an incredible job on ‘acting’ in all fields of diabetes. DPAC was co-founded and is run by patients with diabetes: Bennet Dunlap and Christel Marchand Aprigliano. Joined by other diabetes patient advocates the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC) is an alliance of people with diabetes, caregivers, patient advocates, health professionals, disease organizations and companies working collaboratively to promote and support public policy initiatives to improve the health of people with diabetes. DPAC seeks to ensure the safety and quality of medications, devices, and services; and access to care for all 29 million Americans with diabetes.
Insulin is not oil. It would be a shame if these costs are controlled in a board room. I fully understand free enterprise….but when a ‘controlled market’ of people are paying too high a cost to JUST stay alive…..someone needs to step in. People will die.
I am a diabetes dad.
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