Many diabetics are skimping on insulin because of the high cost

The price of insulin is increasing so fast many diabetics aren’t taking as much as they need.

A new study from the Yale School of Medicine shows more than one in four diabetics have been skimping on their insulin because of the high cost.

Maggie Jo Kirby was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 12 years ago when she was 18 years old.

“I was scared, I didn’t know what to do. I was terrified to give myself a shot.
But when it comes to you live or…you definitely have to,” Kirby said.

At first she was afraid of the shots, but now she’s afraid of the cost.

“It’s extremely frustrating that it’s so expensive. My insulin has gone up quite a bit over the years,” Kirby said.

According to Mayo Clinic a vial of insulin cost $250 in 2007,that same brand now costs $1,500.

“It was about $600 something a month for my insulin. And that’s just the insulin alone that’s not including all the prices of the pump supplies and stuff like that. If I didn’t have insurance I probably wouldn’t be able to live,” Kirby said.

Because of the high cost many diabetics are skimping on insulin.

Sarah Gossett is a nurse practitioner of endocrinology at Mayo Clinic Health System. She said, “It’s really frustrating that my parents can’t take the medication that they need to stay alive just because of a cost. Especially if they do have insurance, I mean these are people who have worked their entire lives and have an illness that they need a medication for and they can’t take it.”

Even though it’s expensive Kirby said, skimping on insulin is absolutely not an option, because she’s pregnant.

“As the baby gets bigger your insulin needs go up. You need to make sure that your numbers stay good so that the baby’s healthy and so its organs develop correctly,” Kirby said.

She hopes the price of insulin will stop going up but says she’ll have to try and keep paying for it no matter what.

“There’s nothing you can really do, and you need it to live so you have to kind of make every effort that you can to make it work,” Kirby said.

Making things even more dangerous Mayo Clinic said many times people feel completely normal after reducing their insulin, giving them a false sense of security.

Even if you feel fine, lack of insulin can lead to several complications such as ketoacidosis, heart attacks, strokes and even death.

Mayo Clinic said there are patient assistance programs to help people obtain insulin, but unfortunately many people make too much money to qualify.

Get your weather forecast from people that actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.