Having Type-1 Diabetes is expensive! I’ve spent the majority of my life saying, “I can’t afford to have Diabetes…” And with good reason, considering the cost and expense that goes into everything required to help keep us not only alive, but in good health.
In Canada, the average cost for a bottle of long-acting insulin such as Lantus (this is the type of insulin that would provide basal coverage over a full day) is about $80. A bottle of short-acting insulin, like Humalog, will run you anywhere between $35 to $40 a bottle. And if you’re anything like me, you may require two to three bottles of that sweet stuff in a month.
Now if you’re lucky, a bottle of long-acting stuff will get you through the month. So according to new math, you’d be looking at well over $200 a month for JUST the insulin. Don’t even get me started on the cost of syringes, needles, blood glucose sticks and various other supplies required to maintain oneself in the wonderful odyssey that is Type-1 Diabetes. If you don’t have some sort of medical coverage or benefits, it can be a life-threatening issue.
This is why it’s always so heart-warming to hear about something that helps to alleviate or lessen the burden, financial or otherwise. I just recently read about a bill passed by the Illinois state legislature in November of 2019, which puts a price cap on out-of-pocket cost for insulin at $100. Illinois’ Governor signed the bill into state law in January, with the law taking effect in Illinois in january of 2021.
Illinois will be the second state to pass such a law after Colorado, with several other states beginning to follow suit with bill of their own. An article posted by Newsweek provides further details, including outlining the increasing issue of some people dying from rationing their insulin supplies or skipping doses, to being unable to afford their insulin. Here’s the article: https://www.newsweek.com/illinois-becomes-second-state-cap-monthly-insulin-prices-more-states-are-considering-it-1483987
This is a fantastic step, but obviously it’s only a beginning. To be clear, this price cap applies to a patient’s co-pay, and not to the cost of insulin when purchase over-the-counter. This does not prevent drug manufacturers from charging increased prices for the sale of their products. It is said that in the United States, the price of insulin has tripled over the past decade.
Although this article is based on pricing and laws from the United States, the situation is very much the same in Canada. I remember the difficulties and financial strain I had to deal with, all through my 20’s and into my 30’s, due to the fact that I had no medical benefits to help take the burden of cost off my shoulders. It will be a wonderful time, when governments come to realize that life-saving therapies such as insulin should be made available, free of cost. ☯