How Much Is The Insulin?

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A 93-year-old Drug That Can Cost More Than A Mortgage Payment Tells Us Everything That's Wrong With American Healthcare

A person administers an injection of insulin. AP Insulin has been around since 1923, so it came as a surprise in July 2015 when Cole LePere's doctor told his mother, Janine, to prepare to pay a lot at the pharmacy for it. Cole, who was 10, had just been found to have Type 1 diabetes. But even the pharmacist was shocked to see the price. Over and over, the pharmacist told Janine LePere, "This is really expensive." Each time she would respond, "I know, thanks, but I still need the medicine." The pharmacist finally gave the LePeres the supplies — and a bill for $1,550. That was after a $350 coupon. As lawmakers and the public scrutinize dramatic price increases for other old drugs — most recently with the Mylan-owned EpiPen, which saw its cost go up by 500% in the past nine years — the next flash point may be insulin, a drug both ubiquitous and complicated. And the story of why the LePeres are now paying as much as their mortgage payment on insulin, even though they have insurance and even though there are competing drugs on the market, is really the story of what has happened to the healthcare industry in America since the start of the century. The need for insulin The human bo Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. Tammykay

    How much insulin is too much.

    My dr. Put me on Levemir and I was told to keep titration up by 3 units daily until my fasting blood glucose numbers were between 80-110. I am now up to 180 units at night and fog levels are still 160-180. I am type two diabetic. I have insulin resistance. Seems like a lot of insulin at once to me, but numbers are not going down as I hoped. Do I keep titrating? How high should I go? I feel like a failure!!! I hoped my numbers would be better by now. Should I consider an insulin pump?

  2. azure

    Is that the only insulin you're taking? No fast acting insulin before meals?

  3. Daibell

    Hi. In theory there is no limit to insulin shots, but with insulin resistance you may just be adding insulin to blood already drowning in it? Insulin for insulin resistant T2s can be a mixed blessing. You may need to find a way to break the vicious circle. Are you having a low-carb diet? Have you discussed going onto something like Victoza or Byetta for a while if there is weight to be shed?

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