My name is Dirk Last and I am a full-time college student from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I have been type 1 diabetic for 19 years now. I’ll be 24 in April, and I’m terrified of being kicked off of my parents’ insurance when I turn 26 –– and what that will mean for the price of my insulin. I am only able to attend college thanks to student loans and some savings I accumulated during a gap year, so my budget does not have much room to spare.
Currently, with insurance, my insulin is affordable for me. But I live in fear of the day I no longer have access to my parents’ insurance –– and how that will impact my future opportunities. I already pay a lot for my diabetes supplies, like my continuous glucose monitor, and I can’t imagine paying hundreds or thousands of dollars on top of that for insulin. But I know that is the reality so many diabetics are facing, and it could soon be me.
If I’m not able to get a good job with health benefits, I’m afraid there’s no way I’ll be able to balance paying off my student loans, paying for necessities like housing, AND paying for my medication. I’ll have to cut corners somewhere, and that gives me a lot of anxiety about my future.
Insulin was never intended to be sold for profit. Frederick Banting, the lead scientist who discovered it, sold the patents for a single dollar each because he wanted everyone who needed insulin to be able to access it, but felt profiting off of the discovery was unethical. I will die without this drug, and so will so many others. We need action to lower the price of insulin, and we need it now.