On Jan. 1, a new law went into effect allowing people in Indiana to purchase insulin products without a prescription at their local pharmacy.Since 2014, Indiana has been the only state in the country that did not allow an over the counter type of insulin. Senate Bill 255, which removed the prescription requirement, was unanimously passed in the Senate and House in January and February of 2020.“I think it’s a step in the right direction”, said Molly King, an Indiana resident and Type 1 Diabetic. “But it only helps a small portion of people with diabetes.”King is part of the advocacy group T1 International that fights for affordable and accessible insulin globally. Even with insurance, she says she pays $300 a month for her analog insulin, which is not covered under SB 255.The new Indiana measure allows you to get a cheaper, older version called “human” insulin.“About 90% of people with diabetes must use analog,” said King. “Human insulin does help lower blood sugars, it just does not sustain that good level of blood sugar. It also does not produce those good numbers that people need to see in a quick enough rate.”According to health officials, “analog” insulin is very expensive, costing upwards of $1,000 for those who are uninsured or underinsured. King says one way legislators could have benefited more diabetic residents in the state was by including analog in the bill. She notes that analog insulin affordability is not just a state or national issue, it is occurring on a global scale where manufacturers are charging patients more to purchase the product than it costs to produce it.“T1 is pushing to keep those insulin manufacturers accountable for the 300 to 600% price markup of insulin,” she said. “This way people don’t have to choose between their lights staying on or their mortgage being paid, and the insulin that they or their children need in order to stay alive.”Dr. Vasdev Lohano, an endocrinologist for Baptist Health’s Joslin Diabetes Center, says insulin is crucial for Type 1 diabetics like King.“They need insulin for survival, not only treatment,” he said. “For people to have access to life-saving medication, which they can use in an emergency situation, and a price point which hopefully everyone can afford at $25, is good.”A concern with human insulin now being an over the counter drug includes diabetes patients not consulting their doctors before using the drug. Drug abuse was also a factor in insulin prescriptions being required in the previous law, but health officials say with what insulin is in place for, it’s a very slim chance anyone would abuse it.“If you ask anyone with diabetes, they feel awful when their blood sugar is low so that’s not something I would expect to be abused,” said Evan Young, pharmacy resident at Mathes Diabetes Center.King says she and T1 International will continue to fight on a government level to pass legislation for insulin affordability. You can find out more information on how to get involved here.

On Jan. 1, a new law went into effect allowing people in Indiana to purchase insulin products without a prescription at their local pharmacy.

Since 2014, Indiana has been the only state in the country that did not allow an over the counter type of insulin. Senate Bill 255, which removed the prescription requirement, was unanimously passed in the Senate and House in January and February of 2020.

Advertisement

“I think it’s a step in the right direction”, said Molly King, an Indiana resident and Type 1 Diabetic. “But it only helps a small portion of people with diabetes.”

King is part of the advocacy group T1 International that fights for affordable and accessible insulin globally. Even with insurance, she says she pays $300 a month for her analog insulin, which is not covered under SB 255.

The new Indiana measure allows you to get a cheaper, older version called “human” insulin.

“About 90% of people with diabetes must use analog,” said King. “Human insulin does help lower blood sugars, it just does not sustain that good level of blood sugar. It also does not produce those good numbers that people need to see in a quick enough rate.”

According to health officials, “analog” insulin is very expensive, costing upwards of $1,000 for those who are uninsured or underinsured. King says one way legislators could have benefited more diabetic residents in the state was by including analog in the bill. She notes that analog insulin affordability is not just a state or national issue, it is occurring on a global scale where manufacturers are charging patients more to purchase the product than it costs to produce it.

“T1 is pushing to keep those insulin manufacturers accountable for the 300 to 600% price markup of insulin,” she said. “This way people don’t have to choose between their lights staying on or their mortgage being paid, and the insulin that they or their children need in order to stay alive.”

Dr. Vasdev Lohano, an endocrinologist for Baptist Health’s Joslin Diabetes Center, says insulin is crucial for Type 1 diabetics like King.

“They need insulin for survival, not only treatment,” he said. “For people to have access to life-saving medication, which they can use in an emergency situation, and a price point which hopefully everyone can afford at $25, is good.”

A concern with human insulin now being an over the counter drug includes diabetes patients not consulting their doctors before using the drug. Drug abuse was also a factor in insulin prescriptions being required in the previous law, but health officials say with what insulin is in place for, it’s a very slim chance anyone would abuse it.

“If you ask anyone with diabetes, they feel awful when their blood sugar is low so that’s not something I would expect to be abused,” said Evan Young, pharmacy resident at Mathes Diabetes Center.

King says she and T1 International will continue to fight on a government level to pass legislation for insulin affordability.

You can find out more information on how to get involved here.

Source