The Politics of Insulin
A reasonable person might think that if a disease affects the lives of 38 million Americans, or 11 percent of the population, that measures would be in place to make life a little more bearable for them. Don’t hold your breath. Diabetes is a difficult disease to manage under the best of circumstances, but when people with the disease don’t have enough political power their needs take a back seat to the profits of the pharmaceutical industry.
This is not a revelation. What I am mostly talking about is the obscenely high price of insulin. People with Type I diabetes require daily insulin and they make up five to ten percent of all diabetics. About 30% of type 2 diabetics require insulin.
About eight million Americans rely on insulin to stay alive. Not a critical mass for politicians to get worked up enough, especially when you consider that lower income people and people of color represent a higher number of insulin-dependent diabetics.