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.

The Wounds of War

Thanks to the heroic efforts of journalists risking their lives in war zones, the world is able to see the human tragedy of mankind‘s worst behavior. Coverage of the war in Ukraine has been exceptional and the continued work of journalists is a critical factor in any movement toward a cease-fire or the end of the war.

Among the many tragedies unfolding is that of a lack of access to timely medical care for people with chronic diseases that require drugs and treatment on an ongoing basis. Diabetes comes to mind because, without insulin, type1 diabetics can die. It is that simple.