Scotties Toy Box

December 11, 2019

‘It comes down to pure greed’: Insulin prices double, causing many people with diabetes to turn to extremes

Filed under: Children, Criminal, Drugs, Economics, Greed, Health, News, Political, Questions — Scottie @ 09:41

Mindi Patterson’s family pays nearly $1,000 each month for insulin.

Her husband, Roc, 47, and her two sons, 19-year-old Pierce and 14-year-old Martin,  all have Type 1 diabetes and need insulin to survive.

But the medicine they so desperately depend on comes at a hefty price.

The family pays between $300 and $400 a person in out-of-pocket costs on insulin each month.

Without health insurance through Patterson’s job at Costco, the family would pay close to $5,000 a month for the life-saving medication, she said.

In people with Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas can’t make insulin. Those with the condition require several doses of insulin a day and spent $5,705 per person on it in 2016, an increase of $2,841, or 99%, per person since 2012, according to the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute.

Costs continue to rise, so much so that almost half of people with diabetes have temporarily skipped taking their insulin, according to a 2018 survey by UpWell Health, a Salt Lake City company that provides home delivery of medications and supplies for chronic conditions.

“Insulin prices doubled in a four-year period,” said Cathy Paessun, the director of the Central Ohio Diabetes Association. “They continue to go up, and the infuriating thing is that there is no change in the process for creating the product.”

“As extreme as it sounds, if I go without insulin I will die,” said Anthony Myer, 29, who has Type 1 diabetes.

He pays $240 for a single vial of insulin after insurance, which lasts him about nine days.

Myer said he’s forced to carefully budget his money to buy insulin. He lived at home with his dad until a week before he turned 29 because he didn’t have enough money after his monthly insulin costs to live on his own.

“You can’t choose anything else over insulin,” said Myer, the youth and family program director at the Central Ohio Diabetes Association.

More at the link above.  We desperately need Medicare For All and a living wage in the US.   Hugs


  1. My granddaughter has Type 1 diabetes. I don’t know what she pays … but her husband is a Sheriff’s Deputy so they probably have decent insurance.

    I’m still not convinced about MFA — at least not right now. I DEFINITELY think some changes need to be put into place that will move us in that direction, but I don’t think we have the “mechanics” worked out enough to make it the “law of the land.” At least if we get a Democrat leading the nation, the chances of that happening will have vastly improved!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Nan — December 11, 2019 @ 13:05

    • Hello Nan. Regardless if you are think the country is ready for MFA, you have to admit the cost of things like insulin needs regulation and control. You have to admit it is out of control greed in the drug industry. The patient was given away for free by the owner of it in hopes of the drug being nearly with out cost. The fact is as the post mentioned even with insurance the costs are overwhelming, and with out insurance people are dying. An older man who lived next door was rationing his insulin, we did not know, he got sicker and sicker and then when into the hospital and died. He was in his 60’s and did not need to die. But being poor killed him. Right now Ron and I both take diabetic medication and we watch our diet and do what we can. But for our diabetic medications alone we pay $200 dollars each every three months. That may not seem like a lot but remember we have other medications and we pay we pay for the highest level of insurance from his work, which is self insured and sells us the medications. He works for a major healthcare system. For other people the medications are much higher, and they will be for us after he retires in a couple years. At that time we may not be able to afford our medications. This is why I am so driven that we change the for profit medical system in our country. Have you seen the video, yes I know you do not like videos, of people in England being asked how much they think medical services cost in the US. They make silly low guess and are shock when they are told the price. One person said after being told the real cost , “So if you’re poor you just die”? Hugs


      Comment by Scottie — December 11, 2019 @ 14:18

      • Scottie, I’m NOT denying that medical expenses are out of control. It’s more than obvious that they are! I was just reiterating my stance on MFA. ABSOLUTELY something needs to be put into place to help people get the medication and care they need. But you can’t deny it’s an uphill battle for the very reason you mentioned — the “for profit” medical system that’s in place in this country. As has been expressed numerous times and in numerous places … $$$$$ rule.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Nan — December 11, 2019 @ 14:30

        • Hello Nan. I agree with you and it will remain until the people demand a change. The people matter. So when enough people demand the change, when enough people become vocal for it, it will happen. That is how most changes happened in the US. Think of the suffrage movement for example. Unrelenting demand forced the change, same with prohibition and its being over turned. The people stood up and demanded it, and it happened. We must all demand these changes in our medical healthcare system. We simply must band together and force the change. Or be victims of the the for profit system for ever. Hugs.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Scottie — December 11, 2019 @ 15:34

      • Hi Nan. I’m from Australia and I don’t have diabetes, but at least three of my extended family so. The family also has asthma, multiple sclerosis and ulcerative colitis sufferers. Because the medications for these conditions are a matter of life or death, the Australian government subsidises them via the PBS – Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. For example, medication that would otherwise cost hundreds of dollars can be as low as 20 or 30. That’s on top of our own Medicare which refunds health costs to the patient. 30 years ago, Medicare would refund almost all of the doctor’s fee. These days it’s much less, but most medical practices do what’s called ‘bulk billing’. What that means is that children and pensioners [sometimes everyone] pay nothing because the doctor charges Medicare for the consultation. He/she gets much less than for a ‘private’ patient, but they do it to ensure that those on the lowest incomes can afford to be treated.

        We don’t see healthcare as charity or a privilege. We see it as a right that benefits all of us long term because waiting until people are so sick they need hospitalisation would cost the public hospital system [govt funded] so much more.

        I don’t know how you’d go about changing the system in the US, but one option is for your govt to buy non-branded medications from overseas. These are medicines which are out of patent so cost a whole lot less. Once the govt became a ‘competitor’ to the big pharmaceutical companies, they’d be forced to lower their prices. Clearly this wouldn’t work for all medications, but something has to give, even if it’s not perfect. Big Pharma are pretty much committing state sanctioned murder.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by acflory — December 11, 2019 @ 20:27

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