Today’s topic: What I would most like to see change about diabetes.
That’s an easy one for me. I would like for diabetes management to be more affordable. I was diagnosed while living in the United States and over the past four years I have had the privilege to benefit from access to diabetes care in two other countries and the difference in shameful.
In France, insulin, oral meds, injectables, glucose strips are reimbursed at 100%. There is no cost for needles and lancets.
In the United Arab Emirates where I lived for a year as a Fulbright Scholar, I paid $0.00 for my diabetes related medications. I will repeat that…I didn’t pay ONE SINGLE DIME for my diabetes medications. My visits to the Endo were only $13 bucks, a big difference from the $70 that I was paying in North Carolina with Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s premium healthcare plan.
I can’t tell you how many times I worried, cried, paid bills late or not at all just to come up with the $300 a month (an average) for diabetes supplies.
So, I think we have a serious problem in the USA. It’s as if we are the last to realize that diabetes is a growing epidemic and without proper management the death toll rises.
When I walked into a pharmacy and saw THE EXACT SAME glucose strips that cost me $79.00 at Walgreens or CVS (for 50) were priced for the equivalent of $ 21.51; I nearly cried. Just thinking about all the times I skipped testing after a meal to make 50 strips last a month made me sad. Why are diabetes supplies so expensive in the USA? Aren’t “they” getting enough from us already?
I can’t express the totality of how it feels to NOT have the financial worry on top the other worries that come with diabetes management–it is a feeling that we all should experience. Not just once, but forever.
I would rapidly change the cost of management so that we can focus on LIVING our lives free from worries of debt or financial bondage.