Americans go to extremes to access life-saving medicine

The high price of medicine in the United States is forcing people to go to extreme measures to obtain their life-sustaining medications. We heard a couple of disturbing stories this week that we want to share to illustrate this point.

One person made a comment on our blog post about the price of insulin that really alarmed us. “I’m seriously considering dog insulin (Vetsulin: at $50 per vial). Many think I’m joking but I’d rather be slightly uncomfortable than comatose or dead.”

While we would never condone the use of insulin formulated for dogs, the fact that someone is considering this alternative really exemplifies what a horrible situation this has become. It shows how desperate people are and the lengths they will go to in order to maintain their health.

In a similar vein, an article was published this week about a man’s experience buying inhalers on the dark web for his wife, who suffers from severe and life-threatening asthma. They were forced to do this because, even with insurance, the price of just one of her needed inhalers was out of their reach at $300. They found the inhaler for just $30 on the online black market.

We would never recommend ordering medication on the dark web and without a doctor’s prescription. It’s too difficult to guarantee the safety and authenticity of medications sold this way. But we do have tips on our website for finding legitimate and safe international online pharmacies that offer authentic medications at a much more affordable cost.

If a drug is not affordable, it’s essentially useless. We need to get legislators to take action on this issue. Legalizing safe and affordable drug importation is one immediate and common sense method of ensuring access to affordable medicine. If you haven’t expressed your support for importation to Congress yet, please click here to take action.

The insulin issue is much trickier because it can’t be imported in the same method as many other medications. Insulin is a cold-chain temperature product and Canadian pharmacies won’t ship it anymore because they can’t ensure that it maintains a stable temperature throughout the shipping process.

We’ve been looking into ways to put pressure on insulin manufacturers. Stay tuned and comment below if you have thoughts on this issue.