My name is Savannah Hampton and I live in Dallas, Texas. More than 40 years ago I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and today am a proud advocate for affordable insulin.
Between the high cost of insulin and other supplies, affording the necessary treatments to survive as a diabetic can be incredibly costly. Because of these costs, nearly one quarter of all people with diabetes in the United States ration their insulin in any given year.
Personally, my insulin costs $737 every month. That’s a price tag that is incredibly difficult to afford each month, leading me to ration my insulin. Every time I go to refill my prescription, the pharmacist asks whether I want a 30-day or 90-day supply. With the astronomical prices of insulin, there’s no way I could ever get a 90-day refill.
Going from one month to the next, always worrying about affording my insulin and the accompanying supplies causes immense stress in my life. Most years, I don’t hit the $6,000 deductible for my insurance plan, but in 2020 I did. Between the increasing cost of insulin and other costly medical expenses, I feel like I’m working my job just to afford my medicine.
I have two grown kids, so I work just to support myself. Truthfully, I work to afford my insulin so that I can survive. I don’t work for pleasure or for other things I want; I work to make sure that I still can live.
No patient should have to ration their medicine for years simply because drug companies want extra profits. Insulin and other prescriptions can be affordable, but drug companies and our leaders choose not to make them affordable and accessible to patients like me.
I’ve had to jump through hoops to get my insurance to cover my insulin, needed to prove to my insurance company that I was diabetic after they’d covered my insulin for 11 years, and had to make financial sacrifices to afford the medicine I need to survive. We shouldn’t have to jump through all these hoops and overcome financial barriers just to access medicine we need to survive. Our drug pricing system needs change, so that the millions of people like me who either don’t fill a prescription or ration their prescription because of its cost can access the medicine they need.