type 1, rationing insulin, diabetes

Have you heard of the practice of rationing insulin? In 2003, a vial of insulin cost around $40. Since then, the price has skyrocketed and can cost over $300 per vial.

People with type 1 are dependent on insulin to live. Before insulin was discovered as a life-saving treatment for diabetes about 100 years ago by Frederick Banting, type 1 was a disease that people died from.

Some people with type 2 also have to take insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Without affordable insulin, some people with diabetes are finding themselves in life-or-death situations.

Why are people rationing insulin?

People are holding off on taking insulin or trying to make their insulin last longer to save money until their insurance kicks in. The high price of insulin is also leading young adults to marry earlier than they would to get insurance, and to drop out of college.

With high-deductible insurance plans, people could be paying out thousands of dollars before they even get coverage.

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Deadly consequences of rationing insulin

Not taking enough insulin can lead to damage to the eyes, lungs, kidneys, and heart, and can lead to heart attack and stroke.

If those with type 1 are without insulin for a long time, diabetic ketoacidosis occurs, when the blood becomes acidic, the cells dehydrate, and the body stops functioning.

There have been several cases in the news recently of people dying because they were rationing their insulin and ran out of insulin, including Shane Patrick Boyle and Alec Raeshawn Smith.

What can you do

This is an important call to action for changes to be made and for prices not to be so exorbitant for insulin.

If the deadly cost of rationing insulin strikes you, contact your representative and let them know things need to change.

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Joan Biddle
Joan Biddle is a Content Developer at Diabetic Nation. Her years of editing, research and writing allow her to create detailed, reliable articles that help people navigate complicated topics. She enjoys movies, reading, poetry and art.