My name is Nancy Geiler and I am a long-time resident of Lemay, MO. My husband, Dan, and I have celebrated many healthy and happy years with our two sons and five grandchildren –– two boys and three girls. We hope to celebrate many more birthdays and holidays, but we are worried about our future due to the ever-increasing costs of our insulin.
We both have type 2 diabetes and are insulin-dependent. Dan was diagnosed 30 years ago, and I was diagnosed 10 years ago. These diagnoses have made our lives unrecognizable. Dan isn’t able to do woodworking as a hobby anymore because of his neuropathy. We have also had to worry about the constantly increasing price of our life-saving insulin. In January of 2018, we went to get our Novolog and Humalog filled and the bill was $1,800. We simply couldn’t afford it.
At this point, Dan decided he would just not take his needed insulin. No one should ever have to consider this. Dan managed to find an alternative for one of his insulins at Walmart for $60, but it’s an older version of the drug, and it’s not as safe.
I tried contacting Eli Lilly, but because we have Medicare, they wouldn’t assist us. Insurance wouldn’t cover our Lantus either, so we were forced to find an alternative. But when our doctor prescribed an alternative, we found out we wouldn’t be able to afford that insulin either.
We have also fallen into the donut hole, the nickname for the coverage gap in Medicare where patients pay a large share of their drug costs. At that time, we were spending around $400 on his and $150 on my medications.
It is now 2020 and things haven’t gotten easier. Dan is on dialysis and he has a new diabetes doctor who wants him to take Toujeo. When I went to pick it up, I found out it would be $700 for one month. We couldn’t afford it, so we were told to get Walmart insulin temporarily. Our doctor was able to get us approved for help. We have to reapply every year, so we fear for the day that we don’t get approved and have to put Toujeo on a credit card. We still get Novolin R for $25 each vial, adding up to $100 for his needed 4 vials. All of these costs add up. I don’t know a single senior who could afford it.
We worry for our future because we have been first-hand witnesses to skyrocketing insulin costs. We want to be able to enjoy our retirement and be able to be there for our children and grandchildren.