Quarter of People in U.S. With Type 1 Diabetes Ration Insulin


A quarter of people with type 1 diabetes[1] in the United States ration their insulin[2], according to a new survey from T1International[3], a charity that advocates for affordable insulin.

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Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells[4] in the pancreas. Insulin is necessary help move glucose from the blood into body cells for energy.

The online survey included 1,478 people in 90 countries, with 40% of the participants living in the United States. The responses showed that, worldwide, 18% of people with type 1 had rationed their insulin at least once in the past year, which increases the risk of a variety of short-term complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)[5] and long-term complications[6] such as nerve, eye and kidney damage. Excluding the United States, only 6.5% of respondents reported rationing their insulin in the previous year among high-income countries.

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“The prices of insulin are astronomical, and even patients with good insurance coverage are getting squeezed.… They’re having to make choices. I see this every day in my practice,” noted Mark Schutta, MD, the director of the Penn Rodebaugh Diabetes Center at Penn Medicine, in an interview[8] with The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Congress recently held hearings[9] on rising insulin costs[10] in the United States, and groups of patients have started forming ‘caravans’ to Canada[11], where the medicine is available at lower prices.

Want to learn how to save money on your insulin? Read “Insulin Prices: Four Ways to Pay Less.”[12]

Diane Fennell[13]

Diane Fennell

Senior Digital Editor for DiabetesSelfManagement.com, Fennell has 16 years’ experience specializing in diabetes and related health conditions. Based in New York City, she has a degree from Columbia University.

Endnotes:
  1. type 1 diabetes: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/diabetes-resources/definitions/type-1-diabetes/
  2. insulin: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/diabetes-resources/definitions/insulin/
  3. new survey from T1International: https://www.t1international.com/media/assets/file/T1International_Report_-_Costs_and_Rationing_of_Insulin__Diabetes_Supplies_2.pdf
  4. beta cells: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/diabetes-resources/definitions/beta-cells/
  5. diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA): https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/blood-glucose-management/diabetic-ketoacidosis/
  6. long-term complications: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/complications-prevention/
  7. sign up for our free newsletter: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/newsletter/
  8. in an interview: https://www.inquirer.com/health/consumer/insulin-ration-diabetes-drug-costs-20190625.html
  9. held hearings: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/u-s-congress-holds-hearings-on-insulin-costs/
  10. rising insulin costs: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/insulin-manufacturers-pbms-testimony-regarding-insulin-prices/
  11. ‘caravans’ to Canada: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/americans-form-insulin-caravans-canada/
  12. “Insulin Prices: Four Ways to Pay Less.”: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/insulin-prices-four-ways-pay-less/
  13. [Image]: //cdn.diabetesselfmanagement.com/2019/06/DFennell-Headshot.jpg

Source URL: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/quarter-people-us-type-1-diabetes-ration-insulin/


Diane Fennell: Diane Fennell has been an editor at Diabetes Self-Management magazine since 2003. She is currently the Senior Digital Editor for Diabetes Self-Management E-News and DiabetesSelfManagement.com. (Diane Fennell is not a medical professional.)

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