The Rising Cost of Insulin

Insulin is a hormone that sends a message for your other cells to open up and metabolize the glucose in your blood. It is normally produced in the pancreas unless you have Type 1 diabetes and are dependent upon high-grade prescription insulin. The failure to treat Type 1 diabetes will result in death. Insulin is not something that should cost a lot if it is just as important as the air that you breathe to live.

Yet, there is a great evil occurring every day across the USA. Three corporate giants (Sanofi, Eli Lilly, and Novo Nordisk) are holding the lives of more than 30 million Americans who suffer from diabetes in their back pockets. To make matters worse, a cartel of pharmacy benefit managers (PBM’s) are acting as middlemen in the supply chain and feeding off these exploited people in a similar manner. At the root of this pay-to-play exploitation scheme are a handful of judges who have shaped the drug law patents to make these corporations superrich. Judges are infamously corrupt and have been known to take legal bribes in the form of junkets. Junkets are paid vacations around the world that send them to luxury hotels for conferences on how they should uphold the interests of those sponsoring the conferences.

The prices of insulin continue to rise and have more than tripled since 2002 according to the American Diabetes Association. As this steel grip over humanity tightens and the corrupt hegemony of crony capitalism shapes laws in favor of corporate giants, you can expect a lot of commotion. The question remains why there are so many bureaucracies in America that are set up to protect the rights of patients suffering day in and day out without any policing or focus on the root problems involved here, chiefly judicial corruption.

The Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC), CEO, Christel Aprigliano is overlooking the problem and pointing at the middlemen, the PBM cartel. If we look across America, we will find that middlemen are artificially controlling our economy at all levels. They are forcing retailers to sign exclusive contracts that prevent them from stocking products outside of their merchandise. This is creating a steel grip of oppression over the development of new ideas and independent wealth in America.

How is Insulin Manufactured?

Insulin is primarily produced today using recombinant DNA methods of manipulating bacteria to produce the biological compound. Recombinant DNA methods allow genes to be spliced into any organism, including bacteria in the same manner that HIV acts to hijack T cells when it replicates itself. Because DNA is the same coding found throughout all living organisms, the bacteria can act as a host and dedicate its replication machinery to producing useful substances that are isolated and extracted from a soup of byproducts.

What is the Exact Problem?

The dirty little open secret of the pharmaceutical giants is to extend these patents indefinitely by making minor modifications to the process for their benefit. These processes streamline the production and make them richer while continuing their monopoly over the patents and color of law right to exclusive manufacturing. Large volumes of money are being pumped into the FDA to pass their stringent regulations each time the patented insulin formulas are tweaked. This prohibits competitors from passing drugs through the screening process. If generic versions of insulin were available and there was a larger volume of competition, the price-gouging would come to a standstill.

That is unless, of course, a limited number of competitors simply joined the monopoly and offered a slight discount to capture a larger share.

What Happens If Diabetes is Not Treated?

People who are unable to control their Type 2 diabetes suffer a myriad of problems that can dramatically shorten their lifespans. Blindness, life-threatening infections, difficulty healing wounds, and the glycation of the arteries are all symptoms. It also causes damage to a number of organs including kidneys, eyes, and the heart. Type 1 diabetes can quickly lead to death if it is not treated because the pancreas of these friends and neighbors of yours do not function correctly or at all. In Type 2 diabetes there is a little more hope because the insulin resistance may be cured with weight loss and severe dietary changes.

Diabetes can lead to glaucoma, cataracts, injury to the retinal blood vessels, and ultimately blindness. Some people, including children, have diabetes that is so hard to control that they need an insulin pump that constantly monitors their blood sugar and acts as an artificial pancreas. They require both a long-acting form and a short-acting form of insulin to control their blood sugar from cresting and dipping into dangerous levels.

Conclusion

The apathy of the American people to stand up for change when the laws and regulatory functions are being exploited by a handful of super rich corporations is preventing the solution to this problem. The American people have the power to petition and demand change of any practices or laws that they deem unfair and unconstitutional. If even a tenth of a percent among those who purchase insulin at retail prices signed a petition to invalidate this exploitive monopolization of the live-dependent hormone, the force of that unity would be enough to change things. It is apparent that Americans do not care or understand how their legal processes work and have fallen into a state of consumerism that lets a handful of corrupt people ruin the lives of millions.

The cry for help should be starting now on every corner where young children and adults are stretching their meager paychecks (that are also the result of monopoly oppression) to pay for basic health needs. For those who live on a very limited income, they gamble their health every day by stretching the amount of insulin they are able to afford. A box of five insulin pens now costs as much $500 or more. Diabetes can quickly lead to serious health complications and death even when left untreated. There is no excuse for the apathy that has grown in the world to change the status quo and accept this elitist agenda of price-fixing.

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