Long time diabetic frustrated over rising insulin costs

One bottle of insulin now costing more than 500 dollars

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – For roughly 30 million people in the United States who are living with diabetes, healthcare costs are on the rise. People dependent on insulin are once again seeing increasing prices this month.

One long-time diabetic in Knoxville says her prescription jumped more than $40 in comparison to last month. Debbie Mcculloch-Kitts feels she is being taken advantage of.

“If you don’t have it, then you will die,” said Mccolloch-Kitts.

Mcculloch-Kitts is a Type 1 Diabetic. Therefore, she can not live without taking insulin.

“Your pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin. You are always on insulin. Insulin is your life-saving medication,” said Mcculloch-Kitts.

A bottle of insulin used to cost $6 when she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 18 months old. 40 years later, the cost is more than $500 per bottle.

“It just feels like they are taking advantage of people,” said Mccolloch-Kitts.

Mccolloch-Kitts buys three bottles a month. That means she has a $1,500 bill per month.

“It just makes you feel very vulnerable and very angry,” said Mccolloch-Kitts.

She is thankful her insurance cuts that cost by a few hundred dollars. She pays about $300 out of pocket per bottle after insurance. However, she still feels her hands are tied.

“You have to pay it. You don’t have a choice. There is no back up for insulin,” said Mccolloch-Kitts.

Mccolloch-Kitts not only has to worry about paying more for insulin but also paying for other diabetic medications. On top of insulin, she takes eight other diabetic medications. Some of them cost $150 dollars.

“You have to worry about complications from diabetes, which can range from anything from your eyes, your kidneys and your heart,” saud Mccolloch-Kitts.

She is angry at pharmaceutical companies for continuing to hike up prices.

“I feel terrible for the people that don’t have insurance that have to pay that price,” said Mccolloch-Kitts.

One pharmacist living in the Knoxville area says there is no clear reason why prices are going up. This comes at a time when pharmaceutical industry is under firing for increasing prices.

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