Danielle Ofri's article on "The Insulin Wars" is good as far as it goes but stops short of great for a few reasons: failure to address insulin consumption pattern changes from human insulins to higher priced human analog insulins and failure to place this insulin war in place as part of what may be seen as a larger war on diabetics. Yes, I am not discussing a war on diabetes. Sadly, I am discussing a war on diabetics.
Insulin utilization has trended toward the higher-priced human analog insulins, although even the price of human insulins has increased. Still, as a 2018 ADA white paper stated, “human insulins are available at the pharmacy for $25 to $100 per vial compared with human insulin analogs at $174 to $300 per vial.” And, for historic reasons, human insulins are available over the counter in the United States. If you've anticipated where I am going on this, you are wondering why every effort is not being made to move every insulin -dependent diabetic who can tolerate it to OTC human insulin and to side step insurance company-pharmacy benefit manager game playing, by purchasing it OTC.
I see a health care system that not only allows but actually incentivizes the crazy kind of drug hopping and formulary tweaking that leaves diabetics uncertain as to which kind of insulin at what price will be available to them should remind you that we live in a culture where common roadside signs offer to purchase diabetes testing supplies for the same reason. The very supplies necessary to determine when and if insulin is necessary and to attain good control are unaffordable to many.
Does Danielle Offri even look up to see the "we buy diabetes testing supplies" signs plastered at every intersection when driving to and from Bellevue Hospital?