What’s causing the rising price of insulin?


We talk a lot about the harmful effects of obesity on this blog, but today, we’re going to do a deep dive into one in particular: diabetes.

Diabetes is a disease that is generally treatable with insulin injections. In America alone, more than 29 million people suffer from some form of diabetes, and the majority of them take some type of insulin daily.

Insulin prices have risen over the years. In fact, they have almost tripled since 2002, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The spike could be attributed to many factors, like the variety of types of insulin, many of which claim to be newer or better formulas. While Dr. Dirk agrees this might be the case, he says there’s another factor affecting the supply and demand of the marketplace.

“Obesity, which is directly responsible for diabetes, has increased significantly, so it stands to reason more insulin is needed,” Dr. Dirk says.

Patients’ demand for those newer and better drugs doesn’t help matters.

“To reduce cost, diabetics can go back to the early days: small doses with frequent insulin injection, good nutrition, daily aerobic exercise… unfortunately, that advice is rarely given in today’s modern medicine,” Dr. Dirk says. “Blaming drug makers for providing what the public has asked for is just not smart.”

So what is the high cost of insulin? According to the study, the average diabetic spends $736 per year on insulin alone, not counting other diabetes-related medications or any other healthcare costs associated with the disease.

On top of the $736, the cost for diabetics also includes the time it takes to give these injections, constantly monitor blood sugar levels, make doctors’ appointments and all that comes with having a chronic disease.

But what if there were a way to cure — rather than just treat — diabetes?

“If diabetes has affected your health and you have tried everything else,” Dr. Dirk says, “the time has come to consider diabetic obesity surgery as a cure for diabetes.”

While the cost of obesity surgery can be a deterrent, for those with diabetes, it can be the most financially responsible option