U.S. Senator Tina Smith is set to introduce a bill on World Diabetes Day, which is marked on November 14, to raise awareness of the condition and to find out how bigger the problem of high insulin price has become.
Sen. Smith said, “This is a bipartisan issue, not a Republican or Democratic issue because, in this great country, people shouldn’t be dying literally because they can’t afford the medicine that they need to stay alive.”
She explained that many Americans have been struggling with the high insulin price, while most of them say they cannot afford it.
The Minnesota senator said, “I’ve heard stories about this from Minnesotans all over the state. Stories about people rationing their medicine, meaning they don’t take the full amount that the doctor prescribes to them. We even have people going onto Facebook pages to buy insulin because they can’t afford the insulin that they would get at the pharmacy.”
North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer and Smith said they would introduce a bill that will request the Department of Human Services to conduct research on how often patients with diabetes have been rationing their insulin and what are the health impacts they are facing.
Mentioning that “insulin drug makers are making a fortune off this life-saving medicine,” the senator said, “The average price of insulin goes up and up and up. And some studies tell us that one in four insulin users, people that need insulin to stay alive, aren’t using all the medicine that they’re supposed to because it’s too expensive.”
The Health Care Cost Institute said that the insulin cost for patients with type 1 Diabetes increased two-folded from 2012 to 2016, up from $2,864 to $5,705.
Meanwhile, the theme of World Diabetes Day 2019 is “Family and Diabetes.” Families have been urged to learn more about the condition’s warning signs and find out the risk factors.
The seven warning signs of diabetes include polydipsia (increased thirst), polyphagia (increased appetite), polyuria (increased urination), fatigue, blurry vision, recurrent skin infections, and delayed wound healing. Worldwide, stats suggest that at least one in 11 adults are diabetic, while one in two of them go undiagnosed. In the United States, the CDC has reported that more than 7 million individuals go undiagnosed.