The coronavirus crisis has turned life upside down for people around the world. As tighter restrictions are put in place and more businesses are forced to close or cut hours, it is taking a serious toll on the economy and individuals’ finances. Millions of people have filed for unemployment and lost employer-provided health insurance.
This can be an especially scary time for people with chronic diseases such as type 1 diabetes who require continued medical care, supplies, and medications to manage their condition. Lack of income or insurance means that some people can no longer afford insulin. They may begin rationing what they have left, which can be incredibly dangerous and lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which can be fatal.
The cost of insulin in the United States has skyrocketed in recent years, but in an effort to support those with diabetes during this difficult time, pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly recently announced a $35 monthly cap on out-of-pocket insulin costs. Almost all of Lilly’s insulins are included, and the cap applies to individuals both with and without insurance. However, according to Lilly, “patients with government insurance such as Medicaid, Medicare, Medicare Part D, or any State Patient or Pharmaceutical Assistance Program are not eligible for the scheme.”
With so many Americans facing financial hardships right now, this is a step toward reducing some of the stress for those with diabetes regarding how to pay for insulin in order to keep themselves healthy. Insulin is not optional when it comes to type 1 diabetes – it is a life-sustaining medicine. Other drug makers such as Sanofi and Novo Nordisk have also lowered the cost of insulin during this time.
Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is glad to see that individuals with type 1 diabetes are getting some support during these challenging times so that they can continue to afford the insulin they need. Until a cure for diabetes can be found, affordable insulin is a necessity. The DRC continues to work toward finding a cure as well as improving treatment options. Learn more at https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.