Price gouging has skyrocketed the price of insulin, forcing folks to ration this lifesaving biologic.
"Nobody cared or nobody understood that without this next vial of insulin, I wouldn't live to see another week," said 28-year-old Kristen Whitney Daniels.
She started rationing her insulin after she was kicked off her parents' insurance plan two years ago.
"I can't really explain how isolating and how terrifying it is," she said.
She's now a patient at the Yale Diabetes Center, where a recent Journal of American Medical Association study found one in four patients reported "cost-related underuse." Dr. Kasia Lipska treats patients at the clinic, and was the study's lead author. She testified on Capitol Hill last week.
"This vial of insulin cost just $21 when it first came on the market in 1996. It now costs $275," she said.
Some drug makers are already reacting to the outrage. On Wednesday, Sanofi announced it will cut the price of insulin for uninsured patients and those who pay cash to $99 per month. But that doesn't eliminate advocate concerns.
"People are dying from lack of access to a drug that has been around for almost a century. I think it's unconscionable," Lipska said.
The EpiPen is a widely used medical device that delivers emergency medication to prevent someone with a severe allergic reaction from going into anaphylactic shock. There’s a shortage of EpiPens across the United States. Parents of kids with serious allergies are worried about sending their kids back to school without one.
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