I don’t know the fair price for insulin. I don’t know what the vast majority of diabetics pay out of pocket for their insulin although in speaking with several pharmacists I’m told it’s about $50. I do know many Americans struggle to pay for many different prescriptions.
If it is true that people are dying because they can’t get insulin or that drug companies are intentionally gouging the public neither should be tolerated.
But I have my doubts about what we are hearing. Here’s why:
- The topic has become a political campaign issue. That creates suspicion about all the facts and circumstances.
- Some of the blame is put on high deductible health plans, but under such plans all medications, many required to sustain life, are subject to the deductible. Why aren’t we hearing more horror stories about heart medication, etc.? In addition, insulin has been made a drug that can be reimbursed before the deductible is met or subject to a lower deductible.
- Some of the horror stories don’t make sense. A 27 year old dies because he can’t buy insulin and no help comes from family or friends or anyone? Seems strange.
- If the problem is as wide-spread as we are being told, wouldn’t you think some group, some organization would have established services, funds to help those is trouble? That’s what we do for substance abusers. Why wouldn’t some billionaire who feels he should pay higher taxes establish a fund to help?
- The lack of response from drug companies is also suspicious. Given the barrage of criticism wouldn’t you think they would be doing something to protect their long-term interests, to hinge their bets as it were?