High prices causing some Kentuckians to ration insulin to save money

High prices causing some Kentuckians to ration insulin to save money
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 3:46 PM EDT
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KENTUCKY (WKYT) - Recent studies show that nearly one in five American adults with diabetes, ration their insulin to save money.

Kentucky has the fourth highest diabetes rate in the country and advocates say they’ve seen insulin prices impact their lives.

In Kentucky, around 13% percent of the adult population is diagnosed with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association, and many are required to take insulin.

Angela Lautner, with the organization Kentucky #insulin4all, says she’s dealt with the effects that the high price of insulin can cause.

“I need just over 2 vials of these to live every single month,” Lautner said.

She says there have been times when she thought about rationing her own insulin.

“For me, when I have high glucose levels, I’m sluggish, I’m tired, I’m literally fighting every single minute to get rid of that extra glucose,” Lautner said. “It’s begging, starving for insulin but if I can’t get it the insulin it needs, I’m going to go into diabetic ketoacidosis, and I’m going to die.”

Right now, Kentucky has a $30 cap on insulin co-pays, but that law only applies to the portion of Kentuckians on state-regulated plans. If you don’t have insurance you could have to pay hundreds of dollars for it.

Ben Chandler with the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky says it simply isn’t fair.

“There are a lot of people struggling there are a lot of people, obviously, complaining about it because their life is at stake here. This is a really, really critical issue,” Chandler said.

Chandler and Lautner both say the list price of insulin should be reduced and they are calling on lawmakers to take action.

Lautner said, “We are calling on federal legislators to push legislation to lower and cap insulin’s list price, and state lawmakers to take action with Alec’s Law, until the list prices are reduced.”

According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 26,000 people in Kentucky are diagnosed with diabetes every year.