With the prices of insulin skyrocketing with no end in sight, people in need are left with little other option but to ration their insulin. Unfortunately, rationing insulin comes with dire consequences and is not an option to consider.
What is insulin rationing?
By definition, insulin rationing is either taking too little a dose of insulin, or skipping it altogether. People who need injectable insulin to live know just how expensive this drug is. In 2019, one month of insulin cost around $275. This number has only increased and is still on the rise.
What are the consequences of rationing insulin?
Every year, people with diabetes who are in need of insulin are having to come up with creative solutions to the financial burden of insulin prices. This has led many individuals to rationing their insulin, but this comes with a different price to pay. Insulin rationing can lead to many other complications including diabetic ketoacidosis, which can lead to death. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when a person’s blood sugar gets too high.
Hitting close to home
Upon losing his job in 2017, Jesse Lutgen of Iowa was forced to fight both the financial and physical battles that come with having diabetes. Being someone with type 1 diabetes, Lutgen had been battling the physical burden of diabetes for over 20 years. It wasn’t until he was 32 years old that the disease took his life due to insulin rationing. He, like many other diabetes patients, couldn’t afford the high insulin prices. Jesse Lutgen is one of many victims of the increasing prices of insulin.
Each life lost to insulin rationing shows that it is something to be avoided. If you or someone you know are unable to afford insulin, speak with your doctor or pharmacist to find alternative ways you can obtain more insulin without having to ration what you already have. So much is happening around the topic of insulin prices that new programs and resources are being developed. For example, Walmart will begin selling their own brand of insulin that is already on the market. Novolog a mealtime insulin will cost $73 per vial and $85 per FlexPen. There are also programs available like the Lilly Insulin Value Program. This program can give people with type 1 diabetes access to insulin for as low as $35 a month. If this discount program interests you, take a look here. For more ways you can save money on insulin, speak with your care provider or pharmacist.
There are always other options to ensure that you can get the required amount of insulin your body needs to function. What price are you willing to put on life?
Insulin rationing is a practice that should never be considered, as the consequences are too dire. If you or someone you know needs help finding lower cost insulin, speak with your doctor or primary care taker about what options might be right for you. There are many existing and up-and-coming programs available to those who need them.