Prescription

For diabetics a vial of insulin could mean life or death. But skyrocketing prices could impact who gets it and who doesn’t.

A local congressman is fighting to lower prescription drugs for American families.

“My fear is that I won’t be able to afford it,” said Chris Burrows, diabetes patient.

For diabetics, like Burrows, a vial of insulin could mean life or death. But skyrocketing prices could impact who gets it and who doesn’t.

Burrows attended a roundtable discussion hosted by Congressman Dan Kildee on Tuesday to voice his concerns.

“I found out that my different drugs, one of the insulins is $280 for a small vial for a month. The pens in there are another $240. So it’s $500 just for those,” Burrows said.

Burrows said he was a teacher in Flint for nearly 30 years and decided to retire early. He is now on Medicare but is not sure what coverage will look like in the future.

Kildee said his bill H.R. 3 would address those concerns by allowing the government to negotiate prices with drug companies.

“We believe that we shouldn’t be prohibited from negotiating prices. Insulin is a really good example. It costs a few dollars to produce a vile of insulin, but here we’ve heard people talk about paying $350 for a single vile,” Kildee said.

Nurse clinician Jenn Walrath, with Hurley Diabetes Center, said she sees issues with insulin prices every day.

“It’s 100 percent what they need to live and survive. I see too many people that get by on subpar care,” Walrath said.

Walrath questions why the government is not regulating the cost of such a life-saving drug already.

“I don’t understand how this has happened for as long as it happened with insulin,” Walrath said.

Kildee said the legislation has passed through the House and is now in the Senate’s hands.

“I’m really hoping that it passes because otherwise a lot of people are going to be out if it doesn’t pass,” Burrows said.

Kildee said the federal government is the biggest purchaser of insulin in the world.

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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