In the video Op-Ed above, those affected by Type 1 diabetes argue that insulin is unaffordable, leaving diabetics to take risks like rationing insulin or buying from strangers online. Drug prices in the U.S. have risen dramatically in recent years, but with no alternatives to insulin, diabetics are caught in the crosshairs: Missing a single dose could land them in the hospital, and lead to death in as little as a few days.
Patent laws allow pharmaceutical companies to block competition and prevent affordable generics, and so-called safe harbor regulations legalize kickbacks between the makers of insulin and the middlemen who distribute it, ultimately raising prices for the consumer.
Colorado has recently capped insulin copays, and Congress is actively investigating why the price of insulin is so high. Ely Lilly, one of the top three insulin producers, has also announced a half-priced alternative to its top-selling product. But this is not enough: Insulin must be affordable and accessible in order to prevent more deaths from a perfectly manageable disease.