My name is Dr. Julia Blanchette and I live in Cleveland, Ohio. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes over 20 years ago and need insulin to live. I was always aware of the widespread unaffordability of insulin, but the financial burden of insulin became real for me while I was working on my Ph.D. in Nursing Science. At the time, I was still on my parents’ insurance since I had not yet turned 26 years old. In January of 2016, my parents’ plan switched from a non-high deductible plan to a high deductible plan and my individual deductible on this plan suddenly increased to $4,000.
These days, it’s incredibly difficult for young adults to gain financial independence to begin with. When you have a chronic condition with expensive medications, it becomes nearly impossible. Pharmaceutical companies’ greed not only hurts patients through the inability to access care, but also through the stress caused by these unreasonable prices that impacts our health outcomes. We need changes that place patients’ needs first so that we can afford our prescription drugs.