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Rising insulin prices concerning for diabetics across the country

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Posted at 7:52 AM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 08:11:41-05

INDIANAPOLIS — For years, Type 1 diabetics and members of Congress have fought to get insulin prices lowered.

While in office, President Donald Trump promised lower insulin prices, but when Joe Biden's Administration took over, they put a pause on many of Trump’s executive orders, and many don’t know what that means for their insulin prices.

“I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was three years old in 1995,” said Taylor Smith, she’s been living with her disease for nearly 30 years.

“It’s an every day, 24/7, 365 days; there's not 1 minute that I’m not thinking about what my blood sugar is doing,” said Smith.

Smith told WRTV she has to go to the pharmacy every three months to get her prescription of 9 vials of insulin. She said thankfully she’s got great insurance and doesn’t have to pay out of pocket.

“That's something that I keep tabs on pretty regularly because if I ever was uninsured, I want to be able to know exactly how much I have to pay to be healthy,” said Smith.

She said without her insurance it would cost her $3,050.69 for a three-month supply so over a year that’s more than $12,000.

“That would be a crippling amount of money to pay for three months of supply of insulin and that doesn't count in my insulin pump supplies or any other management tools that I choose to use,” said Smith.

So, what’s going to happen next to insulin prices? The answer is still unclear.

According to the American Diabetes Association, last July the Trump Administration released several executive orders on prescription drugs, one of them requiring federally qualified health centers to pass on discounts they receive for insulin to their patients.

When the Biden Administration took over, they put a pause and review on all of the Trump Administration’s executive actions on health care until March 22.

The American Diabetes Association said they are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to engage with the current administration to drive policy change.

As for Smith, she said lowering the prices of a lifesaving drug will be a weight lifted off the entire community's shoulders.

“I think the whole community as a whole would definitely sigh if we could see a reduction in prices just knowing that our friend’s family and all of us affected by the disease weren’t so worried,” said Smith.

According to the American Journal of Managed Care, the average price of a month's supply of insulin has gone up 1200% from 1996 to 2019.

Smith said she’s never seen insulin prices this high.

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