How high prices for diabetes care amplify health inequities

At the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, when my insurance wouldn’t allow me to get a backup supply of the insulin I need to live, I received eight vials in the mail from my friend Rena. It’s not the first time I’ve had to rely on my type 1 diabetes family for backup: I’ve traded medications with a cyclist in the middle of Kansas, and been given glucose sensors from people via Instagram direct messages.

These exchanges are built on shared urgency. The 1.25 million Americans with type 1 diabetes, or T1D, must constantly regulate and administer a medication that both keeps them alive—and if over or underdosed, can kill them. But today, far too many diabetics struggle to access insulin and the medical devices necessary for our survival.

Discovered in 1922 by Frederick Banting, Charles Best, and James Collip, insulin is our life support. The trio sold their patent to the University of Toronto for $1 because they thought it would be unethical to profit off of such a discovery. Today, insulin manufacturer Eli Lilly has increased the cost of a one-month supply of insulin by 1200% over the course of 23 years. A vial of insulin can now cost up to $350.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

Clothes for sweating and lounging are propping up fashion sales

Wed Jul 22 , 2020
Member exclusive by Marc Bain Since the start of the pandemic, clothing companies from the high-end to the low have seen their sales tumble due to store closures and shoppers reining in spending on non-essentials. But with countless gyms and offices shut, one category that’s offered the industry something of a bright spot is clothing […]