A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in one of the world’s richest countriesby Fiona Conner / May 14, 2018 / Leave a comment
The high cost of medicine is killing Americans. More than a quarter struggle to pay their medical bills, making health care costs the leading cause cited when declaring personal bankruptcy—yet the current administration would like to see the rest of the world pay more for drugs.
On 7th May, a grieving mother attempted to highlight the issue of America’s soaring insulin prices at the annual shareholder meeting of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. In June 2017, Nicole Smith-Holt’s 26-year-old son Alec, who had type 1 diabetes, was found dead as a result of trying to ration insulin. Having aged out of his mother’s health insurance the month before, he could no longer afford the cost of the medicine that was keeping him alive.
Insulin appears on the Model List of Essential Medicines compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which details the medications deemed most effective, safe and important in any health system. Without access to insulin, people with type 1 diabetes will die, most likely in a matter of days.