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Tulsa diabetes advocate: 'People are dying because they can't afford their insulin.'

Posted at 9:42 PM, Jan 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-14 23:27:10-05

TULSA, Okla. — A medication keeping people alive costs too much to do just that.

The price for insulin is skyrocketing, which forces some diabetics to choose between their health or paying other bills.

One woman is working to change that. Megan Quickle is a diabetes advocate and lives with type 1 diabetes.

"People are dying because they can't afford their insulin. People are rationing their insulin, they're using less than they should be and it's taking a tremendous toll on their diabetes. This is not ok."

No one seems to know why insulin is so expensive, but the American Diabetes Association blames the complicated supply chain.

A lot of hands are involved, and many factors impact how much patients pay, including the amount and type of insulin, the delivery system used, and whether insurance is involved.

“It's kind of a circle, loop that people are just pointing the finger at different people."

The A.D.A. calculates, more than 30 million Americans live with diabetes.

Quickle says lawmakers are working on a bill, but that it will only help a few dealing with this disease. She hopes state lawmakers will draft and pass an insulin affordability bill for all soon.

"If we are all using our same voice and advocating our government, saying, 'This is unacceptable,' maybe they'll listen to us."

There are ways to get cheaper insulin through different company programs like the Lily Diabetes Solution Center or Novo Nordisk. Patients are also encouraged to ask their pharmacies of any a rebate program.

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