I had the honor of traveling to Indianapolis to take part in the #insulin4all Demonstration protesting unbelievably high insulin prices that are compromising the health and lives of type 1, and sometimes type 2, diabetics.
This past Saturday, myself and a group of supporters rallied across the street from one of the “big three” insulin companies, Eli Lilly. Prices have been increasing at an alarmingly suspicious rate, and in 20 years have shot up 1123%. To put that into perspective, US inflation in that same period was 56%. Insulin dependent individuals are being bled dry, often paying thousands a month for the medication that keeps them alive. That’s right, type 1 diabetics will die in days if they do not have insulin. Insulin=Life.
I was moved by the compassion of those attending, as well as their strength and ability to drive a strong point with facts and heart tugging stories. As a T1international advocate, I had the opportunity to tell the crowd my story and personal views. I’ve been on insulin over half my life, and I fear that in the future, I’ll run out of options when it comes to paying high insulin prices. Some already have run out of options, and have died because of it. It’s completely unacceptable, given that insulin is nearly 100 years old, and the patent was sold for a mere 3$ so patients could always access it.
People of Faith for Access to Medicines (PFAM) were a partner in the demonstration, and made my mom and I feel so welcomed in the city of Indianapolis.
The campaign is gaining momentum; I’m not the only one traveling to demonstrations. Folks from Illinois, Kentucky and other surrounding states made the trek to add fuel to the movement. New Jersey will be the next stop, as that’s the home to the two remaining manufacturers that have been suspected to be colluding with Eli Lilly to rake in massive profits.
We are asking three things of these companies:
– Be transparent about profits
– Reveal the true cost of making a bottle of insulin
– Bring the prices down
It’s not that these companies are profiting, it’s that they are consumed with unfathomable greed that is killing people. It’s time for a change. I invite you to join the movement for #insulin4all. Travel with purpose.