I just had to get my first bottle of insulin earlier this week after my deductible was reset at the beginning of the year. I was worried about the cost coming out of my pocket but wanted to get it out of the way. Boy was I in for a surprise. I had expended my deductible to be out of the way by the end of the second week. $500 in 2 weeks is insane!
I had been reading tweets and Facebook posts from DOC members who have talked about inulin being $380 a bottle. They are not lying. That is how much it costs without an insurance company getting you a discounted rate on it. That is where I found it interesting. My cost, no insurance co pay, was only $146.
Why is this interesting? Stop and think about this for a minute. You and I both know there is no way they are not making a profit at that price. No company would ever let that happen. Why have a business if not to make money? So do some reverse thinking on it and look at the insane profit at full price. $380 minus $146 means each bottle of insulin nets them more $234 in profit. I say more than since they must be making a profit at even $146, but you don’t know how much. Incredible! I really feel for those with no or less than adequate insurance.
The biggest excuse the companies use is the high cost of research for the next big drug. If you look at their financial paperwork online (you can find it on their websites, all public companies are required to publish those documents) you see they are making 100s of millions of dollars in profits. I did not dig into it very far but my reasoning tells me that any money sunk into research gets deducted before the profits are listed. Its like any business, any income that is put back into the company is deducted as an expense to reduce income tax. Electricity, any machines bought for company use (office or factory), any advertising costs, and any costs such research.
So my point with this post is to raise an eyebrow to the fact that insulin prices seem to be pumped up artificially for nothing more than higher profit. I get that businesses are to make money. If you do that at the cost of people’s lives, that is another issue all together. People who lose their jobs or don’t make enough at minimum wage can not afford to stay medicated and either get very sick and end up on Medicaid or die. I work hard. I have insurance. Even with that the skyrocketing cost of my medication is stopping me from saving any money for retirement. I can’t afford a newer more efficient vehicle. I can’t fix all that is wrong with current transportation. I can’t fix all that is wrong with my house. I’ve never taken a vacation since it costs too much money. There are a lot of things I can’t afford to do.
Just as an add on complaint, it really angers me to hear the comeback “You just need to learn to live within your means.” What exactly does that mean? Do I give up eating for the month? Do I give up getting my meds for the month? Do I give up paying for the gas to get to work each month? Do I give up paying the loan on my house for the month? After all my bills are paid I have about $140 left to pay for any emergencies each month. I go to the movies 2 or 3 times a month so I can cut out about $40-$50 each month.
As bad as it is for me I know there are many more out there who are worse off than I am. That makes me sad and angry. Why? In a country where we are supposed to so great, are we so expensive? Greed. Plain and simple greed. These meds we diabetics and others afflicted with diseases needing medication are so much cheaper in other countries but when they found people going on line to get cheaper meds out of country, they legally closed that loop hole so you can no longer get them. You can still get them in the mail but they have to be from here in the states where they are nearly double or triple the cost. Shows you where some of that profit went.