The Hill reported a group of Americans with diabetes had to travel to Canada last week to get their insulin supply. Why? Because insulin is up to 10X cheaper in Drake land.
Matter of life and death – literally
The group that went north to grab insulin vials is just a part of a larger phenomenon. More than 30M Americans have diabetes and among them, about 7.5M people must take insulin daily to manage their condition.
Because the price of insulin went up more than 1,300% compared to the 90s and now it costs more than $1K per month to get the needed amount of insulin for people with type 1 diabetes, more Americans are crossing the borders to get insulin at cheaper prices or buying smuggled insulin at black markets.
In 2017, Alec Raeshawn Smith, a type 1 diabetes patient, died because he couldn’t afford to buy his insulin supply. Two more people died in the same year while rationing their insulin. Last year, three more people died doing the same as well.
Check out the video on insulin smuggling trips by NYtimes below:
No Cap…on drug prices
Frederick Banting, the inventor who discovered insulin in 1923, actually refused to put his name on the patent because he felt it was unethical for a doctor to profit from a discovery that would save lives. Banting’s co-inventors did sell the insulin patent to the University of Toronto for a just $1, because again, they didn’t want anybody profiting off of their invention.
Drug companies, however, went full capitalism on us when they got their hands on the patent. One of the main reasons they can do that is, unlike other civilized countries, there’s no regulation that puts a cap on how high drug prices can go up in the US.
Colorado, you a real one.
There’s a glimmer of hope. Colorado, in May, passed a law that puts a $100/month price cap on insulin, regardless of the amount. We saw other states follow Colorado’s lead with legalizing weed, but capping insulin prices is something all states should follow ASAP.