Americans driving to Canada for cheaper insulin as prices skyrocket.
Insulin is a vital drug that some 1.2 million Americans must take daily to manage their diabetes and to stay alive. But Big Pharma’s price-gouging has nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016, leaving some patients with no choice but to turn to black-market drugs or travel to Canada, where insulin can be 90 percent cheaper.
According to a report from a working group at the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the list price of insulin has nearly tripled since 2002 and the average price of insulin has increased by 64 percent since January 2014.
A patient with Type 1 diabetes incurred annual insulin costs of $5,705, on average, in 2016. The average cost was roughly half that, at $2,864 per patient, in 2012, according to a report released by the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute.
People from Minnesota who are part of the #Insulin4All initiative organised a “Caravan to Canada”, driving five hours to purchase insulin for $30 a vial rather than the $300 they would pay in the US.
Quinn Nystrom, one of the women involved with Caravan to Canada, told CBC: “I almost felt walking out of that pharmacy like I was robbing the pharmacy. I just couldn’t believe it.”
On their journey, Ms Nystrom was concerned about Border Patrol agents confiscating her prescription or the bottles of insulin she and the others involved had obtained, but the group ran into no problems.
Insulin prices in the US have skyrocketed, but the phenomenon does not exist in Canada where the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board restricts how much a company can charge for patented medicines.
Currently there are 26 #Insulin4all state chapters who serve as “volunteer grassroots advocates” taking action at the state and federal levels.
Ms Holt-Smith added: “A trip to any other country to make that purchase would have saved his life and would have been completely affordable and absolutely legal. Unfortunately I was under the impression that it was not legal and it would be confiscated.
“I would like to let people know that this is an option, if they can’t afford their life-sustaining medications here in the US and if they have a passport and the ability to travel outside the US they should consider this.”
She said she believed her son would have survived if the US market were better regulated.
The prescription drug insulin is one of the most egregious examples of how greed in American healthcare denies treatment to those who can’t afford it, and literally kills people. All 3 of these shameful greed tactics can and should be prevented by law as part of any of the proposed Obamacare fixes. Democrats need to leave the impeachment of Donald Trump for any corruption to voters in the 2020 election, for now, they need to focus with laser beam intensity on eliminating the greed, corruption and profiteering taking place in American healthcare!!!
More than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes, according to a new reportCdc-pdf released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2017. The report finds that as of 2015, 30.3 million Americans – 9.4 percent of the U.S. population –have diabetes. Another 84.1 million have prediabetes, a condition that if not treated often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years.
Diabetes in the United States:
- Approximately 1.25 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes.
- By 2050, 5 million people are expected to be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
- An estimated 40,000 people are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes each year.
- 200,000 people under the age of 20 years old have Type 1 diabetes.
- Between 2011 and 2012, 17,900 children and adolescents under the age of 20 were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
- There was a 21% increase in people diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes between 2001 and 2009 under the age of 20.
- By 2050, 600,000 people under the age of 20 are expected to have Type 1 diabetes.
- There are $14 billion in Type 1 diabetes-associated healthcare expenditures and lost income each year.
- Less than a third of people with Type 1 diabetes consistently achieve target blood-glucose control levels.
- Preliminary data from T1International’s 2018 access and supply survey that says 1 of every 4 US respondents have rationed insulin due to cost.
Statistics: Center for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services; 2017.