Insulin price hike hurts mid-Missouri families

3 years 1 week 2 days ago Thursday, November 03 2016 Nov 3, 2016 Thursday, November 03, 2016 4:22:00 PM CDT November 03, 2016 in News
By: Madeline Odle, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - The price of insulin has skyrocketed over the past eight years, which is no surprise to one Columbia mother. 

Deanna Phillips has been dealing with insulin for more than 15 years. Her 19-year-old son Ethan Phillips was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was 4 years old. 

"Diabetes is just a really expensive disease, and insulin is only one portion of it," Phillips said. "There's Glucagon and test strips and meters, and then Ethan is on a pump, so there's the pump and all the supplies." 

Three major companies make insulin in the U.S. Since 2004, the manufacturer list price for insulin is up by triple digit percentages, according to NBC News.

Data from Truven Health Analytics showed Novo Nordisk's insulin Novolog is up 381 percent, Eli Lilly's Humalog is up 380 percent and Sanofi's Lantus is up 400 percent.  

Phillips, who purchases Humalog for Ethan, said she noticed the insulin was expensive, but never knew how much the price was increasing because Ethan needed it either way. 
 
"For us, a vial is over $300, and he uses three a month," Phillips said. "We just have no choice, we have no choice because if Ethan doesn't have insulin then he doesn't live."
 
Most insurance companies will pay for a family's medical costs after they reach a certain deductible. However, Phillips said their deductible is getting bigger every year. 
 
"Every year the deductible goes up and up. For next year our family deductible is $4,000 plus another $2,000 for prescriptions," Phillips said. "So potentially we could have a $6,000, a $6,000 deductible."
 

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