by: Richard Essex | WISH-TV 8 Indianapolis
Nov. 14, 2019
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Eli Lilly & Co. is one of the largest insulin manufacturers in the world, and it has been under fire for its price of insulin, which the company helped develop in the 1920s.
Some people in central Indiana are considering shopping in Canada to find a cheaper price for insulin.
To stay alive, insulin-dependent diabetics may use a smorgasbord of drugs, such as a fast-acting insulin after eating or a slow-acting insulin for nighttime. At least six times a day, some diabetics draw blood from a finger to test blood sugar levels.
On Thursday as part of a prayer vigil, Chuck Deppert stood outside of Eli Lilly’s corporate headquarters in Indianapolis with his insulin made in Indiana. His insurance covers the cost of most of his insulin every month, but gaps in his coverage occur when he is forced to fork out $300 for a one-month supply. He is part of a growing group of people that is looking for cheaper insulin in Canada.
“I have thought about going to Canada and talked to a doctor recently that said he would write me a prescription and I could go up there. Don’t know what it will cost, but it is a whole lot cheaper and it is the same drug,” Deppert said.
According to Deppert and the group he was with Thursday morning, the price of insulin has skyrocketed. He and other insulin-dependent diabetics don’t have a choice when it comes to treating the disease; without insulin, diabetes is fatal.
Faith Indiana, the group that held the vigil, claims Eli Lilly has raised the price of insulin 569%. The price also affects non-insulin-dependent diabetics suffering from what is often called Type 2 diabetes.
A Senate investigation into Eli Lilly’s pricing structure of insulin last summer did result in a price reduction for certain drugs.