The current state of insulin in America is troubling. People with type 1 diabetes rely on insulin to maintain a healthy life, and the country's tight regulations and high price tags surrounding the medication make it harder to obtain.
This lack of accessibility has caused Americans to go to great lengths to obtain affordable insulin to continue living healthy lives.
Because of the current regulations, price tags, and practices impacting the accessibility of insulin in the United States, many are turning to countries like Canada to efficiently and safely obtain the medication.
The only place Americans can obtain affordable insulin is online, where they can order the medication from Canada at Canadian price points. People with diabetes in America are ordering insulin from Canada through online prescription referral services like BuyInsulin.com, where they can buy top insulin brands at an affordable price and get the medication sent directly to their home.
Americans are making use of these services to easily purchase and refill their medication and ensure their ongoing health.
The Prices & Monopolies
Because insulin prices in America average about $285 for a vial, many Americans cannot afford their prescription. This high price tag exists because America does not have a country-wide cap on insulin prices. Colorado was the first country to cap insulin prices at $100 in 2019, but other states have yet to implement such price regulations.
Even still, Colorado insulin prices surpass those of countries like Canada, where the medication costs less than $50 per vial. Because there are no country-wide caps for the cost of insulin, and there are only three manufacturers who make insulin in America, these manufacturers have been able to monopolize the medication and charge exorbitant prices.
According to Business Insider, all three manufacturers raise insulin prices at the same rate, which has caused the price to triple over the last 15 years.
There are tight regulations in America surrounding insulin as individuals require a written prescription to obtain the medication. Compare this to Canada, where you can purchase insulin over the counter without a prescription. America also maintains high healthcare prices, which makes obtaining a doctor's prescription a pricey endeavour in itself.
Travelling to Canada
The current state of insulin in America has led many to seek alternative means for obtaining their medication. In addition to ordering insulin from Canada, Americans have also travelled to Canada, where physically purchasing it is easy and affordable.
This phenomenon became heavily reported on when Americans began to arrive in caravans at the Canadian border so that they could cross and get their life-saving medication at a portion of its cost. Americans have been able to cross the border with their medication when they have a prescription that proves the insulin is for personal use, and the volume of the medicine doesn't exceed 3 months' worth of use.
The Future of Insulin in America
Residents and medical professionals alike continue to encourage the American government to improve insulin regulations and make the medication more accessible for people with diabetes.
Most recently, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that, under the leadership of President Trump, 1,750 health plans would cap out-of-pocket costs for insulin at just $35 a month. At least one of these plans will be available to seniors.
Unfortunately, this regulation does not help those without health plans. While the change is a step in the right direction, the United States still has a lot of work to make insulin more accessible to its residents.
Fortunately, there are alternative avenues like online prescription referral services that continue to make Canadian insulin available to Americans across the United States.