High and rising: Patients concerned by cost of diabetes
For the 29 million people battling diabetes across the U.S., the financial burden of treating the disease is already high – and rising.
After a 10News investigation in February dug into the varying costs of prescription medications, several people reached out asking us to look into the cost of diabetes. We did – and found several families struggling to make ends meet among the 600,000 diabetic Tennesseans.
Mindy Tayeh, of Knoxville, is one of those people. Every time she opens her fridge, she’s very careful with what’s kept in the door – the vials of insulin to treat her Type 1 diabetes.
“It sucks something so little is so expensive,” said Tayeh.
Tayeh developed diabetes as a teenager. Because of that, she’s struggled to get affordable insurance, and has been paying for her healthcare out of pocket.
“I haven’t had insurance in eight years,” she said.
She takes an insulin called NovoLog. Five vials set her back about $1000 every month. Then she needs to purchase blood sugar test strips, needles, and emergency injector, pump supplies -- between that and her lupus medication, she’s putting up $2000 a month.
“I mean everything I have goes to me, my diabetes,” said the mother of three. “It’s not fair to my kids.”
And that has left her with a question:
“I was just curious if there are other people out there having to pay like I do,” said Tayeh.
10News found that answer, to some extent, is yes.
“Last year my prescription out of pocket was $5287,” said Catherine Peterson, of Crossville. “That is a third of my income. That’s just my pres Continue reading