How do insulin prices impact Americans?

We recently surveyed our supporters regarding the high price of insulin and how it affects you and your friends/family members. Since it’s National Diabetes Awareness Month, it’s an appropriate time to report our findings.

A total of 873 people responded; 653 said they don’t use insulin but care about the impact the high price of insulin has on others.

Of the 220 people who responded saying they use insulin, more than half (56 percent) said the high price of insulin has negatively affected their health. A number of people disclosed they’re stretching their doses more than they should because of cost.

Specifically:

  • 78 percent reported increased stress from wondering how they would pay for insulin
  • 56 percent experienced high blood glucose levels
  • 7 percent ended up in the ER or urgent care
  • 5 percent were hospitalized

Of those who responded to our survey, 68 percent said their out of pocket costs for insulin have gone up in the past year. Forty-nine percent have had to switch to a different insulin due to changes in their insurance coverage.

Following the survey, we asked for stories from individuals who have experienced spikes in the price of their needed insulin. We’ve collected a number of stories to pass on to Senator Bernie Sanders’ office in support of his and Representative Elijah Cummings’ effort to hold drug makers accountable for the increasing cost of insulin.

Patricia from Utah had a troubling story:

“I have been a type 1 diabetic for almost twenty years. I have been able to afford my two insulins (Humalog and Lantus) until the past year when the costs have quadrupled! I am on Medicare and Social Security, and at the current rate, I will not be able to afford my insulins anymore. Without them, I will die.”

This story helps illustrate how grave the situation has become. And Patricia is not alone. We’ve heard from others in such dire circumstances.

Exorbitant drug prices are a serious public health problem. Clearly, it’s not just insulin. But insulin is a medication required by about 6 million people for survival, which is why we are choosing to focus some of our efforts on this topic.

We’re working with legislators and groups like T1International to raise awareness about the severity of this problem. We hope we can count on your support.

Learn more about our past efforts to address the high price of insulin.