Insulin prices should be lowered to protect diabetics

Cost too high for lifesaving hormone

Photo+Illustration+by+Claire+Bargman
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Insulin prices should be lowered to protect diabetics

Photo Illustration by Claire Bargman

Photo Illustration by Claire Bargman

Photo Illustration by Claire Bargman

Photo Illustration by Claire Bargman

Abby Intveld

Every day, more than 6 million Americans with diabetes must inject themselves with insulin in order to survive, according to the American Diabetes Association. If this isn’t stressful enough, the prices of these vital treatments are rising to inhumane costs with no price plateau in sight.

According to Diabetes Management, the cost of insulin has increased from roughly $200 per month to $500 per month. In some cases people are forced to pay an astonishing $900. This is a disgustingly high price for such an important hormone. If those with diabetes cannot afford this expensive treatment and therefore don’t receive it, their disease can progress to serious and possibly life-threatening health conditions. With the cost per month being close to a grand, people who can’t afford it can suffer from ailments including blindness, organ failure and death.

To raise the price of such an important treatment to unaffordable levels is unacceptable and inhumane. It is shocking this situation hasn’t changed when there are more than 6 million Americans facing high-risk situations if they find themselves unable to pay their insulin costs.

In a lawsuit regarding this increase, the Hagens Berman law firm reported that multiple popular insulin brands’ costs have risen more than 160 percent in price during the last five years. It also revealed the brands were creating such price hikes for profit — keeping the prices they offer to pharmacies the same, yet spiking the cost to consumers.

It is appalling that multiple brands have decided their profit takes precedent over the lives and well-being of such a large share of the United States’ population. There is no need for the enormous disparity between consumer and pharmacy costs.

According to the advocacy group T1International, the cost of insulin in the United States is much higher than in other countries. This begs the question of why Americans face such unnecessary prices, when those in countries just as advanced have access to affordable prices.

It is crucial insulin prices return to a lower amount. There is no reason for people with diabetes to be forced to choose between affording groceries and getting treatments that save them. It should be a right to afford life-saving treatments in this country, not a privilege, and something needs to be done to change that.

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