The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that more than 30 million Americans have diabetes – nearly one in 10 Americans with an estimated 84 million prediabetics that could also require insulin later in life. Type 1 diabetes is incurable and develops when the body’s immune system destroys the only cells in the body that make insulin: pancreatic beta cells. Type 2, on the other hand, makes up for up to 95% of all diagnosed cases in adults and can be triggered by obesity, old age, family history, poor diet, and physical inactivity.
Though not all, many people with diabetes take insulin to stay alive, and despite there being very little change in the way insulin is produced, its prices have more than tripled over the past decade. A vial of insulin that may have cost $175 15 years ago could cost $1,500 now, which is three times more expensive than the price of gold in the same amount.
As a result, one in four people who take insulin skip doses because they cannot afford it. Antroinette Worsham, of Cincinnati, founder of the nonprofit Y1 Diabetes Journey, lost her daughter Antavia who passed away at 22 after struggling to pay for insulin. In such cases, access to affordable insulin is a life-or-death situation.
Lawmakers across the country are pushing for caps on its prices, as it costs only up to $3.42 to manufacture the drug compared to its current value. In February 2020, Virginia’s House of Delegates passed a bill with a 98-1 vote to prevent insurance companies from charging over $30 for a 30-day supply of insulin. As the situation develops, the consumers should benefit from this as presidential candidates are making this fight as part of their campaign.