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Record high costs of insulin affecting millions of diabetics

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - The skyrocketing cost of insulin is affecting millions of Americans who depend on it.

A recent study found that the price of insulin has tripled since 2002. 

Vials often cost over $300, taking a toll on millions of people with diabetes who need several vials each month. 
One woman, Aly Dragula, told us she needs at least 9 vials a month for her Type 1 Diabetes:

“The insulin costs is just astronomical to eat normal meals and to be able to cover those it would be insane for me to try to live without insurance  i was just picking up one of my insulin and it was close to 500 dollars,”

Dragula said she was without insurance for a few months after changing jobs, in that time she had to cut down her insulin usage due to the costs.

“My body went into Diabetic Ketoacidosis because I wasn't giving myself enough insulin and my sugars were running too high for too long and then I nearly ended up going into a coma,” 

Alex DeLucenay, a pharmacist told us that unfortunately things like this happen frequently when patients lose their insurance. A lot of the increase in costs has to do with new insulin brands on the market.

"They say there's all these benefits to them in reality when I think about the typical patient that we serve here there's very little benefit for the increase costs that they offer,” said DeLucenay. 

DeLucenay says there needs be more transparency between Pharmacy Benefit Managers, Pharmacists and Patients.

Additionally, often times there are hidden deals and rebate programs that aren't made aware to the public. 

This past June, the American Medical Association issued a statement calling for price transparency and for the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to monitor insulin pricing.


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