DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Miami Valley residents who rely on insulin are relieved to hear a major drug company is capping its out-of-pocket cost.
Drug manufacturer Eli Lilly announced it will max out the cost of insulin at $35 for people with commercial insurance coverage.
“As soon as I found out about it, I was a little shocked and a little surprised too, it was kind of a feeling of relief,” said Ryan McCoy, who has Type 1 diabetes and lives in the Miami Valley.
McCoy was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 10 years old and comes from a family with a history of the disease.
McCoy said Eli Lilly capping the out-of-pocket cost at $35 is big news for his family and everyone with diabetes who face costly insulin prices.
“I had gone to the pharmacy one time and they had processed my monthly insulin order without my insurance co-pay, and it came to almost $2,500,” McCoy said.
McCoy said the pharmacy was able to fix that mistake. However, Diabetes Dayton Executive Director Chris Peterson said for those who are uninsured, or underinsured, the average cost per month of insulin is $500.
Peterson said because of how expensive the medication is, she sees people every day making the choice between paying for insulin or paying their bills.
“We’ve heard really sad stories of people taking their insulin every other day, watering it down, and all that does is put their life at risk,” Peterson said.
Diabetes Dayton is an organization in the Miami Valley that supports people with diabetes, primarily the underinsured and underserved. The organization can also provide emergency insulin assistance.
Peterson said with the lower cost of insulin, she anticipates fewer people will need emergency assistance. Peterson said the organization will then be able to direct some of the budget set aside for insulin toward other initiatives.
“We do a lot of education, we do nutritional counseling, we do camp for kids, so it will help us to kind of expand those programs,” Peterson said.
McCoy said this change will make a difference for the people who need insulin to live like him.
“Insulin is a life-enabling drug,” McCoy said.
If someone does not have health insurance, they can still save on insulin by enrolling in Eli Lilly’s insulin savings card program.