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Insulin Cost Leading to Serious & Fatal Health Issues

Insulin Cost Leading to Serious & Fatal Health Issues
September 11
10:07 2018

We hear a lot about diabetes these days as well we should. The vast number of cases of diabetes is type 2 and can be attributed to being overweight, lack of exercise and eating a really bad diet.

Lying along the lower part of our liver is an organ known as the pancreas. It’s about 6 inches long. One of the main functions of the pancreas is to produce a hormone called insulin, produced by beta cells in the pancreas.

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Insulin is used by the body to use glucose from the breakdown of carbohydrates found in food and drinks. The glucose is used for energy or stored usually as fat.

In most cases of type 2 diabetes, the pancreas continues to produce insulin, but our bodies have a hard time using the insulin, thus the glucose builds up in the blood and tissue.

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops producing insulin. This accounts for about 5% of all diabetes cases, and no, type 1 diabetes is NOT a kids’ disease. It can occur to anyone at any age. People in serious accidents sometimes have to have their pancreas removed because of excessive bleeding leaving them with type 1 diabetes and the need to take insulin on a regular basis.

Without insulin many diabetics will develop a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis. Normally, with the help of insulin, the body gets most of its energy from glucose but without the ability to use the glucose, the body turns to using fat cells for energy. This sounds great, but the use of fat cells causes the release of acids into the blood stream. When the acids buildup, it creates diabetic ketoacidosis.

If not controlled, diabetic ketoacidosis can be fatal, as Nicole Smith-Holt found out. Her son died of diabetic ketoacidosis, which can come one quickly.

However, the circumstances surrounding the death of her son makes his death even more tragic. It was the result of her son running out of his insulin. He was waiting for his next payday, which was only three days away.

For many others, they have turned to rationing their insulin, which in turn is leaving more people with diabetic ketoacidosis.

Why are they rationing their insulin?

Because the cost of insulin has been steady increasing making it difficult for many people. Per a recent report:

“The price of insulin in the U.S. has more than doubled since 2012 alone. That’s put the life-saving hormone out of reach for some people with diabetes, like Smith-Holt’s son Alec Raeshawn Smith. It’s left others scrambling for solutions to afford the one thing they need to live. I’m one of those scrambling click to read .”

The author of the report, wrote:

“My first vial of insulin cost $24.56 in 2011, after insurance. Seven years later I pay more than $80. That’s nothing compared to what Alec was up against when he turned 26 and aged off his mother’s insurance plan.”

“Smith-Holt says she and Alec started reviewing his options in February 2017, three months before his birthday on May 20. Alec’s pharmacist told him his diabetes supplies would cost $1,300 a month without insurance — most of that for insulin. His options with insurance weren’t much better.”

“Alec’s yearly salary as a restaurant manager was about $35,000. Too high to qualify for Medicaid, and, Smith-Holt says, too high to qualify for subsidies in Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace. The plan they found had a $450 premium each month and an annual diflucan one buy online  deductible of $7,600.”

Consequently, more diabetics are ending up in hospital or dead because of skyrocketing cost of insulin. People are faced with paying their mortgage, eating or buying their life saving insulin, and there doesn’t seem to be any real solution on the near horizon.

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HLA Staff

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