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Judith Garcia, 19, fills a syringe as she prepares to give herself an injection of insulin at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Commerce, Calif.
Reed Saxon / AP

Diabetics who depend on insulin to live often find themselves paying hundreds, sometimes more than $1,000 a month, for that medication. A new bill would limit that out of pocket cost to $100 for a one month supply.

The price of pharmaceuticals around the world can vary dramatically depending on who's paying for the drugs and where those patients happen to live.

Take the pneumonia vaccine. Doctors Without Borders just struck a deal on it for refugee children in Greece. The aid group will pay $9 per immunization for a drug with a list price of $540. In local Greek pharmacies, the vaccine costs $168. France pays $189 for the inoculation while the far less wealthy nation of Lebanon pays $243 for it, according to the group. In India you can get it for roughly $60.

Riverside Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Sixflashphoto / Wikimedia Commons

As of Jan. 1, 2019, hospitals are required to post price lists online for everything from medications to procedures. The mandate from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services aims to increase price transparency and help patients make more informed choices.

Wellness Wednesday: Rising Cost Of Insulin

Feb 6, 2019
doctor
Pixabay

The cost of insulin for Type 1 diabetes nearly doubled over the past five years in the United States.  That’s according to a recent report from the Health Care Cost Institute. Those costs are compounded by the multiple vials that diabetics need to survive each month Today on All Sides Wellness Wednesday, rising insulin prices and more. 

Angela Lautner knew her thirst was unusual, even for someone directing airplanes, outside in the Memphis summer heat.

"We had coolers of Gatorade and water for people to always have access to," Lautner remembers of her job as a ground services agent. "But the amount of thirst that I felt was just incredible."

She had no appetite and she lost an unusual amount of weight. Then after a trip to the emergency room, Lautner, who was 22, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. The diagnosis was life changing.

Nicole Smith-Holt’s son Alec was 23 when he started feeling sick. His muscles cramped. He was lethargic. He woke up multiple times every night to use the bathroom. After two weeks, Smith-Holt encouraged him to go to urgent care.