Help For Today: GetInsulin.org
Editor’s Note: On 10/5/20 Beyond Type 1 announced the launch of GetInsulin.org. This letter to the diabetes community from Beyond Type 1 CEO Thom Scher accompanied the launch. If you or a loved one are struggling to access insulin, please visit GetInsulin.org.
People with diabetes are dying from their inability to access insulin. Far too many others are left making the most brutal of decisions: rationing insulin, taking extra jobs, crowdfunding, or forgoing paying bills in order to afford life-sustaining medication. Over 7 million people rely on manufactured insulin in the United States to survive, yet despite those vast numbers we have an ongoing crisis in this country.
It is unacceptable to have 1 in 4 people on insulin in the US ration a life-essential drug. It is unacceptable to see the list price of insulin skyrocket over the last two decades. It is unacceptable to have a system that not only allows, but encourages vast rebates to flow through a black box without any direct benefit to the people actually needing the drug to survive. These realities are unacceptable, but they are realities. And these realities have been made worse by COVID-19: this pandemic is particularly dangerous for people with diabetes, and the economic impact puts those who need insulin at far greater risk.
Beyond Type 1 holds a fundamental position on insulin access: high quality, modern insulin must be available to people with diabetes regardless of employment or insurance status, across all demographics, without barriers and at an affordable and predictable price point. Sadly, this is not the reality for far too many.
We have a duty to ensure that people who need support know what options are available to them now. There is disagreement in the diabetes community about the best way to go about driving permanent change, but there should be no disagreement about the importance of individuals knowing whether they can get urgent, cheaper, or free insulin today. One should be able to share today’s tools and resources with those who need them, throw their weight behind incremental policy proposals, and embrace grassroots advocacy that raises the profile of the insulin crisis while also calling for systemic reform.
Diabetes is unfortunately the poster child for a broken US healthcare system, and there is not an immediately available solution to a problem so complex.
Today, Beyond Type 1 launched GetInsulin.org to address one part of this problem. In the United States, there are a lot of different options and programs out there that can help – but there’s no easy way to find out exactly what you qualify for and how to jump through all the hoops. GetInsulin.org changes that, connecting people to custom solutions to get the insulin they need to stay alive right now. Beyond Type 1 worked with the drug manufacturers themselves to ensure that the action plans generated by the site best reflect current affordability solutions, and also worked with a coalition of partners to reach those who need this tool most. While those partners include numerous leading diabetes organizations, it also includes the NAACP, Feeding America, and the National Hispanic Medical Association; these are renowned organizations who understand how serious the insulin crisis is today, and how this new tool can directly help those who need it most now.
While GetInsulin.org is an important tool for immediate needs — one that can save lives immediately — the system must change. We need to fundamentally change the way drug pricing works in this country. That work will take time, and it can’t be done alone. I’m proud of our team at Beyond Type 1 for constantly prioritizing the kind of holistic collaboration it will take to ultimately drive real, lasting reform in the US. As a global organization, we are also exploring new ways to partner with NGOs in countries that have even less of a safety net.
We must ensure that the most vulnerable among us can access the best options right now. We also must build permanent solutions for tomorrow. The problems of insulin access and drug pricing in the United States are complex, but behind that complexity are real people struggling to survive. GetInsulin.org is for them.
President & CEO, Beyond Type 1
If you or a loved one is struggling to access insulin, visit GetInsulin.org today.
For more information on the US insulin affordability crisis, click HERE.
To read the press release from October 5th, 2020 launching GetInsulin.org, click HERE.