Alec Raeshawn, a diabetic patient, was on his parents' insurance plan until he turned 26 this spring. When he reached that age, the parents’ insurance didn’t cover him anymore. He has tried to ration his insulin because, as his mother said, he couldn’t afford his own insurance or an insulin refill, which is $1,300.
Shortly after his birthday, the young man passed away alone in his apartment. Now, his family campaigns for people to support diabetes research.
The autopsy showed that Alec’s death was caused by the lack of medication. Now, his mother, Nicole Smith, calls for cutting the price of diabetic medications. She expects pharmaceutical companies to lower the prices on this type of medicine.
In her Facebook photo, the lady is standing outside the Minnesota State Capitol where she went to share her son's story on May 12. She said:
It's heartbreaking. I should be with my son. I should not have had to bury him at such a young age. No parent should have to bury their children.
According to the American Diabetes Association, there are about 7.5 million insulin dependent Americans. The price of this drug almost tripled from 2002 to 2013. The American Diabetes Association said in their statement:
The rising cost of and access to insulin ultimately impacts everyone and especially people with diabetes and their families, health care providers, insurers, and employers. Current estimates project that diabetes is the most expensive chronic illness in the U.S. at a total of more than $327 billion per year, including $15 billion for insulin.
Medicines such as insulin should be more accessible because this disease is so common. Like Alec, many young and elderly people have died not because they didn’t receive treatment, but because they didn’t have resources to procure insulin.
Undoubtedly, the institutions in charge should take action, preventing more deaths or complications among patients suffering from this disease.