facebook High cost drives patients to ration insulin – with deadly consequences

BIG PHARMA POLITICS: Consumers pressure politicians to do something about rising drug prices. Read More

High cost drives patients to ration insulin – with deadly consequences

insulinThe price of insulin in the United States has more than doubled since 2012. That’s left many people scrambling to afford their medication. And some are going without, according to a column published by Modern Healthcare.

Bram Sable-Smith, who has diabetes and writes for Side Effects Public Media, shared the story of Alec Raeshawn Smith, a young man who died because he couldn’t afford his insulin. His death, from diabetic ketoacidosis, came three days before he was scheduled to receive his next paycheck.

“It shouldn’t have happened,” Smith’s mother, Nicole Smith-Holt, told the writer.

Sable-Smith shared that he paid $24.56 for his first vial of the drug in 2011, after insurance. Seven years later, he pays more than $80 for the same medication.

“It shouldn’t have happened,”

Alec Raeshawn Smith faced an even tougher situation. He aged off his mother’s insurance plan when he turned 26. The pharmacist told him his diabetic supplies would cost $1,300 per month, without insurance. He died less than a month later. The insulin pen he’d used to administer his shots was empty.

Rationing insulin is never advised. Still, an estimated 1 in 4 people with diabetes admits doing it. Have you struggled with the cost of insulin or other prescription medication? Share your story with Voices for Affordable Health.