‘‘It would be cheaper for me to die’’

‘‘It would be cheaper for me to die’’

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Since sharing our initial survey data about out-of-pocket costs for insulin and diabetes supplies, we have received even more responses. With an overwhelming number of USA respondents (more than 100), our survey has collected comment after comment about the outrageous costs faced by Americans who must contend with this financial burden because of a non-preventable condition that is hard enough to live with as is. We’ve highlighted a selection of those quotes below.

We’ve also rounded up a few pieces of recent news coverage about insulin prices to recognize and applaud that this issue is getting more attention. We encourage you to use this momentum to continue speaking out and supporting actions like #insulin4all and #HelpEsme because this unaffordable price tag for health is global in scale and it must change – soon.

''My biggest nightmare as a Type 1 diabetic is not the disease itself or the dark fears of the complications I might face at some point in the future. My biggest nightmare is the financial weight I have to bear and having to navigate the complexities and callousness of the United States health insurance industry. Those people exist to make my life a living hell.''

There are many times I can’t afford my meds so I go without, even knowing it will kill me. My life is worth the cost of insulin to these companies…

‘’I still pay more than a monthly car payment every month just to survive…I will pay rising costs for the rest of my life. There are no alternatives for insulin, meaning generic. I would compromise my care if I skimped on supplies as it’s impossible to have good control without regular sugar checks…I’ve joked with family that it’d be cheaper for me to die.’’

‘’Pursuing ‘the American Dream’ of owning my own business or traveling, or even being a stay-at-home-mom is often thwarted for me by the fact that I wouldn’t be able to afford my health care.’’

I pay roughly $5000 for three months of diabetes supplies. With deductibles, co-insurances, co-pays, premiums, etc. it is over half of my yearly income.

‘’Private companies should not be allowed to profit off of a medical necessity of others.’’

‘’The American government needs to understand that living off of the use of needles and testing 6x a day is not a life, and they need to begin supporting AFFORDABLE options for all American people. This means CGMs and pumps should be available for everyone, not just those with good insurance plans…’’

The cost of staying alive should not be so expensive. We are chained to greedy companies and work to stay alive instead of working to have a life.

‘’The cost of 3 months of Novolog is, according to the insurance company, $1134. Our co-pay went from $70 last year to $612 this year, without notice or explanation.’’

''Our government needs to look into (and curb) drug company’s exorbitant prices.''

Mainstream media is finally taking note.

Things kicked off in February when the New York Times ran the story Break Up The Insulin Racket.

Insulin has been around for almost a century. The World Health Organization considers it an essential medicine, which means it should be available “at a price the individual and the community can afford.” So why is this product increasingly too expensive for many Americans?”

A second wave of stories was linked to a study released by the University of Michigan, first reported in STAT News: Insulin prices have skyrocketed, putting drug makers on the defensive

“…the cost of insulin more than tripled — from $231 to $736 a year per patient — between 2002 and 2013.”

The story was reposted by PBS: What’s behind skyrocketing insulin prices?

Other media outlets also took notice, including Bloomberg, Fox News, and Reuters.

Let’s use this coverage to continue to push adamantly for #insulin4all. Contact journalists and politicians in your own region to bring light to the problem of unaffordable diabetes costs. Let us know what actions you are taking or share stories related to insulin access by tagging us on social media. Sign up to the T1International newsletter below for more updates on our mission to make sure everyone with type 1 diabetes, no matter where they live, has everything they need to survive and achieve their dreams.