Posted by Bill Sandweg on 04 January 2019.
The price of drugs has been going up and up for the last 20 years as the big drug companies have raised prices over and over again for no reason other than a desire for record profits. No one in the world pays more for drugs than we do in the United States. Large campaign donations have made sure that Congress remains docile and does what it is told. Last year, President Trump announced that he was going to do something about this on behalf of the American people. Either he is not very good at what he does or he can’t do much as the major drug companies have announced price increases for the new year. For example, Allergan is raising prices by an average of 10% on a number of drugs.
Because my 8 year-old- grandson is a Type 1 diabetic, the price of insulin is of major concern to me. This is a drug that every Type 1 diabetic must have every day or they die. According to the American Diabetes Association, 7,500,000 Americans rely on insulin. Its price has tripled over the last 15 years for no apparent reason. Many who rely on insulin do not have insurance or, if they do, have insurance that does not pay enough for them to be able to afford it. This has led many to ration their insulin. According to some sources, as many as 45% of Americans who rely on insulin have rationed it due to cost concerns. For some, even rationing is not enough and they have died because they could not afford their insulin. Here and here are stories about young men who died because they could not afford their insulin.
Why does this happen in the richest, best country in the world? It happens because we let it happen. We let it happen when we do not demand that our elected representatives make health care affordable. We let it happen when we do not demand that our elected representatives keep drug companies from ripping us off with price increase after price increase. It is time to stop letting this happen. No more Americans should die because they cannot afford their insulin or other life-saving medicine.