One in 4 Americans with diabetes report rationing their life-sustaining insulin due to cost, averaging a retail price of $300 per vial. The issue affects all Americans, even those with health insurance. As Lacy Mason in Atlanta experienced, the cost of insulin was so high, she had no choice but to go without.
Even with health insurance, Lacy couldn’t afford her insulin while in grad school. Out of options, she rationed insulin for three years, a potentially deadly situation for Type 1 diabetics. During those difficult years, that meant skipping insulin doses, using expired insulin, meeting strangers in parking lots for insulin donations, and having her friends who worked as nurses bring her opened insulin vials from the hospital in order to survive. Lacy became accustomed to the physical side effects of rationing, but the mental toll endures today. Almost one decade later, Lacy is now in the position to afford insulin, but she knows that as insulin prices continue to climb, more people will have to ration their life-sustaining medication.
It was difficult to convey what I was going through, so I didn’t tell a lot of people. I didn't want it to impair what people thought of me, but the rationing got really bad. By the end of grad school, I’d lost about 30 pounds from rationing insulin.
President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress introduced legislation capping insulin copays at $35 per month, a proposal that would not only save Americans with diabetes money, but also possibly save lives. Americans with diabetes cannot afford to wait any longer for lower prescription drug prices.
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This storybook features women in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire whose stories center on issues from prescription drug pricing and health insurance, to child care and paid leave.