In Case You Missed It: Insulin Prices on the Rise

By Alyssa Martin—Features Editor

Recently in the news, a story has been circulating about a teen boy who cut back on his insulin to help save his struggling parents money.

Dillon Hooley, who has Type 1 Diabetes, chose to use a third of his usual amount of insulin to ration for longer periods of time. According to an article published by CNN about Hooley’s story, his blood sugar is supposed to stay between 130 and 150 but would jump as high as 300.

Type 1 Diabetes is not a curable disease, nor is it something that you can bring upon yourself. Type 1 is when your pancreas neglects to produce much, if any, insulin. This chronic disease is not something obtained by eating too much sugar; it is uncertain the exact cause, however, it can be brought upon by a virus or originate genetically.

The price of insulin can be thousands of dollars a year, and, naturally, many people who are diagnosed with Type 1 are not able to afford to pay for insulin, which can result in many different consequences, the worst being death.

This shot that people have to administer themselves to survive costs hundreds of dollars a month, and since its discovery in the 1980s, the price has only been rising.

The article also states the price per year nearly doubled between 2012 and 2016 for $2,864 to $5,705, and that is insulin alone, not to mention testing strips or any sort of testing equipment.

Many lawmakers are pushing forward to see a change within the prices, yet nothing has been made known to the public if it is possible. When researching the rise of product costs, which is made from yeast and bacteria, there is no apparent reason why the prices continue to grow.

Business Insider published an article in September of 2018, that followed research from many different studies, all concluding that the prices are able to be lower and also concluding that insulin costs depend on where you live as well.

Hooley is not the first, nor the last, that has experimented with insulin intake. Over time, the young teen would have suffered from organ failure and ultimately death. Fortunately he is now okay, but not everyone ends up as lucky as he.

According to Heathline, the American Diabetes Association diagnoses nearly 40,000 people each year with the chronic illness in the United States alone, many of which are in the same position as the Hooley family.

Hopefully lawmakers are able to reduce prices and make insulin more accessible to those who are in need of its life-saving aid.  

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