I am 31 years old and recently celebrated 30 years with type one diabetes. When I turned 26 in 2015, my insulin went from costing $40 to $350 a month. I couldn’t afford it and began rationing. When I married my husband later that year, my copay went down to $70 per month. I never spoke about what had happened during those months of rationing until 2017 when I heard of the loss of Alec Smith, a fellow type one who had also rationed his insulin, and it had cost him his life.
That same year, I had a daughter who came into this world without any complications, largely due to my access to insulin. During pregnancy, you need 1.5-2 times more insulin than normal to keep the baby’s weight lower, keep the mother’s kidneys healthy, help prevent eye problems and combat the higher rate of stillbirth and miscarriage. We are now expecting our second child and the value of the insulin I’ve already gone through is roughly $6,670 (around 19 vials). With my insurance I’ve only paid $140.
As I raise my children, I ask that our state lawmakers help make the world a little easier for them by supporting HB1280 to cap the price of insulin and increase the transparency and accessibility of all prescription drugs. This is particularly important now with COVID-19, where if you have diabetes and get sick, especially if it isn’t well-controlled, you’re at a higher risk for complications. And in the chance that one of my children develops diabetes, I would like to be able to tell them “You are going to live a life in spite of it.”