One in every 10 Americans has diabetes, mostly type 2. This metabolic disorder, which causes a wide range of complications, is the fourth leading cause of death in the country. Despite this, many patients are going without insulin.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas can produce little or no insulin. It causes symptoms like excessive thirst, weight loss, fatigue, dry skin, sight changes, and numbness in the hands and feet. It is treated with diet to control the intake of sugars and synthetic insulin. Regular injections of the hormone can prevent diabetic coma, amputations, renal failure, blindness, and deafness.
The high cost of treatment, however, is causing some people to do without. The good news is there are prescription assistance programs available, such as the Trulicity patient assistance program.
Soaring prices endanger lives
When insulin was discovered as a treatment for diabetes in the 1920s, it was extracted from dog pancreatic tissue and was costly to produce. By the 1980s, a synthetic version was available that should have lowered the price. Instead, prices have soared over the decades. The anti-diabetes drug Humalog retails for around $274 for a 10ml vial, while Novolin, a similar drug, is around a dollar more expensive for the same size. Trulicity retails for over $700 for four 0.5ml ‘pens.’
Unsurprisingly, people with type 2 diabetes who can produce some insulin may be tempted to skip doses or do without. This has led to a flood of seriously ill patients being admitted to hospital for preventable problems.
Before skipping a dose, low-income patients could join a prescription discount club. A Trulicity medication assistance program is available for under-insured individuals. Membership gives them access to free or reduced medication to help keep their diabetes under control. Other medications are also available.
Despite being a common condition, treatment for diabetes continues to become more expensive, putting it out of the reach of low earners or the unemployed. Prescription assistance programs can help patients get the medicine they need.