Friday , March 5 2021

To save the money of her parents, this diabetic teenager cut her insulin

The high school student had an idea: retract the insulin by one third.

Dillon, who has type 1 diabetes, is supposed to maintain blood sugar levels between 130 and 150. After initiating rationing for insulin, their levels increased to 300.

He knew he was dangerously tall, and after all his mind, he worried that he could enter into a diabetic coma. "I was not thinking well, but my parents work so hard to give me what I need, and I did not want to put more economic stress on them," said Dillon, now 18 years.

From 2012 until 2016, the cost of insulin for people with type 1 diabetes almost doubled, from $ 2,864 per year to $ 5,705, according to a study by this month of the Health Care Cost Institute, an institute of non-profit research.
Dillon Hooley cut his insulin to reduce the economic difficulties of his parents, Jason and Mindie.

The cost of Dillon's insulin was much higher. He was insured last year through his father's work at a steel factory in Utah. When Dillon started rationing for his insulin, the mill had just moved to a safe plan with a high deductible, which meant that its parents would have to pay $ 5,000 of their own pocket before the # 39; start of insurance.

According to this new insurance, the Hooleys had to pay $ 800 a month for Dillon's insulin, instead of the $ 60 a month they had paid under their old plan.

Concerned about the economic problems of his family, Dillon's father, Jason Hooley, was at work and did not realize that a 400-pound steel stream was about to fall to his toe. He lost half his finger and could only work at the factory. With cut-off hours, he earned $ 300 less per week.

It was when Dillon began to secretly cut her insulin. Her parents learned when she entered the regular doctor's appointment and the doctor was surprised with her high blood sugar levels.

Dillon's father changed jobs twice to achieve better medical insurance. Now, the family pays $ 160 a month for their insulin, which is better than $ 800 a month, but it continues to be a financial struggle for the family of five people. Dillon has returned to take her full dose of insulin under the care of her mother.

Mindie Hooley cries when she thinks about what her son did to help his parents.

"He is such a disinterested person," he said. "My heart broke, because you want to do everything to protect it, it protects us."

Promises of the legislators

Some people with diabetes have not survived the rise in the price of insulin.

In 2017, Antavia Worsham of Cincinatti, 22, died when he could not afford his insulin.

His mother, Antroinette Worsham, said on Tuesday to Capitol Hill before the Committee on Supervision and Reform of the House. A Senate committee also held a session on Tuesday about rising drug prices.

"This is unacceptable and I intend to specifically target the bottom line of rising insulin prices," said senator Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee at the hearing.

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The pharmaceutical industry claims that patients with insurance, such as Hooleys, should not pay the full price, since insulin manufacturers give large discounts to insurance companies. "These savings are often not shared with patients whose pocket costs continue to skyrocket," said Holly Campell, spokeswoman for pharmaceutical research and manufacturers in America.

However, a spokesman for the insurance industry said that it is not true. "The savings of discounts go directly to customers," said Cathryn Donaldson, a spokesman for American health insurance plans.

In December 2016, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland asked the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether insulin manufacturers had convinced the price of medication.

In October, the Minnesota Attorney General's Office filed a lawsuit against insulin manufacturers alleging illegal pricing practices. A lawsuit filed by patients with diabetes in Massachusetts accusing the manufacturers of price-fixing insulin is pending in a federal court.

The future of Dillon

While drug and insurance companies point their fingers to each other, the Hooleys are still struggling to pay $ 160 a month for Dillon's insulin, along with other supplies such as their test strips.

Paying for your insulin has caused Dillon's parents not to save enough to buy a glucose monitor that causes an alarm if your blood sugar goes down too much while you sleep.

They know he needs it. Last month, her mother was registered while she was asleep and saw that she did not look good. She woke up and gave her some honey, but she was so confused with her low blood sugar that, instead of eating it, made slices of honey throughout the body.

An ambulance brought him to the emergency room, where he stablished and released.

After graduating in high school last May, Dillon wanted to go to the school to become a nurse or respiratory therapist. Instead of that, he got a job at the factory where his father works to help pay for his insulin and save himself on school.

He returns his two and a half months of rationing for insulin, and knows he made the wrong decision, but it was a choice derived from love.

"My parents do a lot for me, and it was so hard to see them struggling financially," he said. "I felt helpless to not be able to contribute."

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