Everyone likes being #1, and Americans are no exception. However, few Americans will be celebrating that they have the world’s highest out of pocket costs for insulin and other life-saving diabetes supplies.
T1International Survey: Out-Of-Pocket Costs
Without accounting for average monthly income, the USA ‘won’ first place in our cost survey by a wide margin. It even ‘beat’ war-torn Syria, a place where access to diabetes supplies is disrupted by bombings and blockades.
Our US respondents told us they paid, on average, $571.69 per month on diabetes costs. This included an average:
Insurance Doesn’t Cut It
Even with insurance, many Americans are spending around half their after tax income on insulin and other supplies they need to stay alive: “Insurance helps but it is 9k a year for a 30k year salary.”
That is, when your insurance company allows you to get what you need. For many respondents, insurance companies actively stop them from getting more diabetes supplies. All of this has consequences.
“Insurance companies do not care if I use all of my insulin or strips before they can refill it for me. It puts me in a struggle of blood sugars versus insurance.”
The situation is so out of control many Americans with type 1 diabetes would save thousands by moving to a comparatively less wealthy country with lower costs, such as Argentina or Chile. Even in countries with no out of pocket drug coverage, such as Canada, type 1 diabetes costs were much more affordable.
“There are many times I can't afford my meds so I go without, even knowing it will kill me.”
The Press Can Do More
High profile media organizations have begun to take note, including CBS News, NBC Nightly News and the Washington Post. The major diabetes organizations are also finally acknowledging what Americans have known for a long time: diabetes costs are out control.
The consequences of these price hikes is death. This issue, which T1Internaitonal has been shouting about for years, needs to be covered more widely – and not just in the USA, but globally. People are dying without insulin in many countries around the world, and the USA is beginning to emulate those countries.
Talk to journalists: share your story and make them aware of the fact that this injustice is happening globally.
Tip: they often hang out on social media and are always in need of more content.