Diabetes has become one of America’s most expensive diseases
With an estimated 30 million Americans struggling with diabetes, the disease is one of the nation’s most entrenched chronic conditions. It’s also one of the most expensive.
Consider these facts:
▪ In California, roughly 55 percent of adults either have diagnosed diabetes or blood-sugar levels that put them at high risk of developing the disease. That includes roughly 1 in every 3 adults ages 18 to 39 – a finding researchers call alarming.
▪ In terms of personal health care spending, diabetes tops the nation’s list of 155 chronic conditions, hitting $101.4 billion in 2013. According to the American Diabetes Association, average medical expenditures for people with diabetes are an estimated 2.3 times higher than for those without it.
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▪ The cost of insulin alone has spiked by triple-digit percentages in the past 20 years.
“It’s horrible for patients,” said N. Chesney Hoagland-Fuchs, a registered nurse and chairwoman of the Diabetes Coalition of California. She said prices for insulin medications began a slow climb after the recession and started “shooting up” around 2013.
Over the past 20 years, the price of human insulin produced by two major manufacturers – Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk – rose 450 percent, after accounting for inflation, according to a 2016 Washington Post analysis of data from Michigan-based Truven Health Analytics. A single 10-milliliter vial of Eli Lilly’s Humalog insulin – less than a month’s supply for many adult Continue reading