Breaking News
December 10, 2018 - Skin Autofluorescence Predicts T2DM, Heart Disease, Mortality
December 10, 2018 - Largest autism sequencing study to date yields 102 genes associated with ASD
December 10, 2018 - Statins associated with low risk of side effects
December 10, 2018 - Study explores how schools address adolescent self-harming practices
December 10, 2018 - Pregnancy in adolescence linked to increased risks of complications in young mothers
December 10, 2018 - Risk Analysis publishes special issue on communicating about Zika virus
December 10, 2018 - Botox May Help Prevent Post-Op A-Fib
December 10, 2018 - African-American mothers rate boys higher for ADHD
December 10, 2018 - Graphic warning labels cancel out cigarettes’ appeal to young people
December 10, 2018 - Australian researchers to study gas inhalational anaesthetic and likelihood of cancer return
December 10, 2018 - Individual neurons located within the brain have implications for psychiatric diseases
December 10, 2018 - Researchers improve bariatric surgery scoring system to extend prediction time for diabetic remission
December 10, 2018 - Cervical cancer risk is higher in women with positive HPV, but no cellular abnormalities
December 10, 2018 - Combo therapy not needed if low RA disease activity achieved
December 10, 2018 - Novel therapeutic targets based on biology of aging show promise for Alzheimer’s disease
December 10, 2018 - UC San Diego professor receives NCI Outstanding Investigator Award for cancer research
December 10, 2018 - Study evaluates placental mesenchymal stem cell sheets for myocardial repair and regeneration
December 10, 2018 - Blueprint Medicines Announces Updated Results from Ongoing EXPLORER Clinical Trial of Avapritinib Demonstrating Broad Clinical Activity and Significant Symptom Reductions in Patients with Systemic Mastocytosis
December 10, 2018 - Study clarifies ApoE4’s role in dementia
December 10, 2018 - Eating disorders now a top priority with Australian Government
December 10, 2018 - Neuronal activity in the brain allows prediction of risky or safe decisions
December 10, 2018 - FDA Alerts Health Care Professionals and Patients Not to Use Drug Products Intended to be Sterile from Promise Pharmacy
December 10, 2018 - Improving dementia care and treatment saves thousands of pounds in care homes
December 10, 2018 - Heroin-assisted treatment can offer benefits, reduce harms
December 10, 2018 - People covered by Michigan’s expanded Medicaid program report improvements in health, finds study
December 10, 2018 - Hazelnuts improve micronutrient levels in older adults
December 9, 2018 - History of Partner Violence Tied to Menopause Symptoms
December 9, 2018 - Clean Up Safely After a Disaster|Natural Disasters and Severe Weather
December 9, 2018 - Drug wholesalers drove fentanyl’s deadly rise, report concludes
December 9, 2018 - Deprescribing could help manage polypharmacy in older adults
December 9, 2018 - Retraction of article “Joy of cooking too much” from journal
December 9, 2018 - FDA Warns of Rare Stroke Risk With MS Drug Lemtrada (Alemtuzumab)
December 9, 2018 - Feds say heroin, fentanyl remain biggest drug threat to US
December 9, 2018 - Eliminating microglia can reverse some aspects of stress sensitization, study shows
December 9, 2018 - New genetic insight could help treat rare debilitating heart and lung condition
December 9, 2018 - MiRagen Therapeutics Announces Final Safety, Biodistribution and Clinical Efficacy Data From Phase 1 Cobomarsen Clinical Trial in Patients With Mycosis Fungoides
December 9, 2018 - Work with your doctor to weigh pros, cons of treatment options for hyperthyroidism
December 9, 2018 - CWRU researcher secures $14.6 million funding for genetic study into Alzheimer’s disease
December 9, 2018 - High intensity statin treatment and adherence could save more lives
December 9, 2018 - Surgery patients use only 1/4 of prescribed opioids, and prescription size matters
December 9, 2018 - AXT offers Phi Optics upgrade to QPI systems for inverted light microscopes
December 9, 2018 - New booklet could help improve conditions of young pupils with albinism
December 9, 2018 - Few Physicians Work in Practices That Use Telemedicine
December 9, 2018 - Older Adults and Oral Health
December 9, 2018 - Health utility values improve after septorhinoplasty
December 9, 2018 - New EU-funded project provides insight into how the brain develops
December 9, 2018 - Expanded use of tele-emergency services can help strengthen rural hospitals
December 9, 2018 - Infections in the Young May Be Tied to Risk for Mental Illness: Study
December 9, 2018 - Profile: Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders
December 9, 2018 - Snoring poses greater cardiac risk to women
December 9, 2018 - Researcher takes further steps in understanding how and why cute aggression occurs
December 9, 2018 - Researchers create new light-activated tools for controlling neurons
December 9, 2018 - Spinal cord injury disrupts the body’s internal clock, study shows
December 9, 2018 - Babies recognize nested structures similar to our grammar
December 9, 2018 - UT Austin researcher receives $2.5 million CZI grant for neurodegenerative disease research
December 9, 2018 - Sleep problems found to be prevalent and increasing among college students
December 9, 2018 - Study reveals why some children are susceptible to the effects of maltreatment
December 9, 2018 - Study investigates influence of different opioids on driving performance
December 9, 2018 - Jazz Pharmaceuticals Announces First Patient Enrolled in Phase 3 Clinical Trial Evaluating JZP-258 for the Treatment of Idiopathic Hypersomnia
December 9, 2018 - Eliminating microglia prevents heightened immune sensitivity after stress
December 9, 2018 - Boys with social difficulties are at greatest risk of early substance use
December 9, 2018 - ‘Wrong’ connective tissue cells linked to worse prognosis in breast cancer patients
December 8, 2018 - Chronic, refractory schizophrenia patients benefit from targeted cognitive training
December 8, 2018 - Advertising in kids’ apps more prevalent than parents may realize
December 8, 2018 - New way to trace the transmission histories of rare genetic diseases
December 8, 2018 - ASH: A+CHP Bests CHOP for Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma
December 8, 2018 - Results of pediatric genomic epilepsy tests often reclassified
December 8, 2018 - New way of controlling HIV latency to completely eradicate the virus
December 8, 2018 - Phasefocus to showcase the Livecyte 2 at ASCB
December 8, 2018 - KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Is health spending the next big political issue?
December 8, 2018 - Mussels take in microplastic pollution fibers and flush most of them out again
December 8, 2018 - AHA: How to Stop Smoking … for Good
December 8, 2018 - Scientists overturn odds to make Parkinson’s discovery
December 8, 2018 - Health benefits of producing marula vinegar
December 8, 2018 - Failure of critical cellular energy sensor responsible for CKD progression, study finds
December 8, 2018 - Ethnicity can be reliable indicator of gut microbiota diversity
December 8, 2018 - Safe Sleep for Baby | NIH News in Health
December 8, 2018 - Study looks at ways technology can support nutritional needs of Parkinson’s patients
December 8, 2018 - Infant milk allergy is being overdiagnosed say experts
December 8, 2018 - Graphene may one day be used to test for ALS
High Cost Has Over 1 in 4 Diabetics Cutting Back on Insulin

High Cost Has Over 1 in 4 Diabetics Cutting Back on Insulin

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

MONDAY, Dec. 3, 2018 — More than one-quarter of people with diabetes have skimped on needed insulin because of the drug’s soaring price tag, according to a new small study.

Surveying nearly 200 Americans with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, researchers found 26 percent had underused insulin because of cost.

But insulin isn’t a drug you can safely ration, doctors warn.

“For people with type 1 diabetes, insulin is a lifesaving drug. Without it, people can die within days,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Kasia Lipska, an assistant professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine.

“About 1 in 5 people with type 2 need insulin to prevent short-term and long-term complications, like blindness, kidney failure and dialysis and heart disease,” Lipska explained.

Dr. LaShawn McIver is senior vice president of government affairs and advocacy for the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

“People are struggling to afford insulin, and it truly is a life-and-death situation,” she said.

A recent survey by the diabetes association found a similar number of people — 27 percent in their study — said cost had affected their use or purchase of insulin. Many of them were regularly taking less than their doctor prescribed, were missing doses or switching to a different insulin.

Insulin costs have gone up dramatically, said Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, author of a journal editorial. Both the new study and editorial were published Dec. 3 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Between 2007 and 2017, the average wholesale price of four of the most popular insulins has more than tripled in price,” wrote Rosenthal, editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News.

“Between 2010 and 2015, the monthly wholesale price of Humulin, the most popular insulin, rose to nearly $1,100, up from $258 for the average patient,” she added.

These skyrocketing prices put a considerable strain on people with type 1 diabetes, who are often young people just getting started in their lives, Rosenthal said.

Lipska said it’s important to be able to quantify the extent of the problem, hence the study.

The researchers surveyed 199 people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. All had been prescribed insulin in the past six months.

Because of cost, 32 percent of those between ages 18 and 44 reported underusing insulin, as did 24 percent of those 44 to 64 years old. Among those 64 and older, 21 percent had underused insulin due to cost.

Moreover, more than one-third of those who underused insulin never spoke to their physician about it.

Insulin underuse based on cost wasn’t limited to low-wage earners. While nearly 20 percent of people making under $10,000 a year reported skimping on insulin due to cost, so did more than 38 percent of those making between $50,000 and $99,000 a year, the study reported.

“People are struggling to afford insulin across all incomes,” McIver said.

“When an unexpected bill lands in your mailbox, it’s a crisis, and we hear a lot about the $200,000 bills. But insulin and insulin pump costs, and blood sugar test strips, these costs are persistent, and they’re for life,” Rosenthal said. “Imagine if your rent suddenly went up $600 a month. It’s really unfair to people who have type 1 diabetes.”

The new study also found that more than half of people surveyed said they were also having trouble paying for diabetes devices, such as insulin pumps, blood sugar meters and continuous glucose monitors.

And those cost issues made a difference. People who reported cost-related insulin underuse had three times higher odds of having poor blood sugar control, the study found.

Lipska and her colleagues agreed said this problem is too big for patients to tackle on their own.

“Regulators and the medical community need to intervene to ensure that insulin is affordable to patients who need it,” they wrote.

McIver said the ADA is pushing for more transparency across the supply chain to help figure out why costs have gotten so high. She encouraged patients to call their elected officials and share their stories and concerns.

Lipska said physicians need to be aware that pricing is an issue for their patients. “Doctors need to talk to their patients and ask them. Patients feel that this isn’t a medical issue per se, and may not bring it up. But if you can’t afford your medicine, that’s part of your care.”

More information

If you can’t afford your insulin, the American Diabetes Association suggests possible resources.

© 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: December 2018

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles