This is shameful (boldface mine):
Fourth grader Gabriella Corley is trapped. She has type-1 diabetes and is allergic to the kind of insulin her insurer makes affordable — and her family can’t pay for the kind she needs every day to stay alive…
Soaring insulin prices and inflexible insurance policies have forced this working-class mom to take desperate measures outside the system to keep her child alive.
Gabriella is allergic to the kind of insulin her insurer covers at a $25 out-of-pocket cost. She can only take Apidra, but her insurance only covers 25 percent of the price, leaving the family to pay hundreds of dollars a month they can’t afford.
So her mom has turned to the black market, trading for the medication with other families with diabetes she meets online, a tactic that regulators and health experts warn is a health risk. And she cut a back-end deal with a sympathetic drug rep: If she bought one vial he would give her 10 vials from his sample kit, nearly a one year’s supply. Gabriella’s grandmother covered the cost…
“I have to beg, plead, and borrow just to survive each month,” said Andrea Corley. “I will go without eating if I have to, to make sure she is healthy and happy.” And she has, with the family sometimes going without food or electricity to buy insulin.
Black. Market. Drugs. In supposedly the wealthiest nation on earth.
This is shameful. But wait! We also have, for you, death panels:
Her parents’ insurer, West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA), considers Gabriella’s insulin Apidra “Tier 3,” which means the family has to pay 75 percent of the price. A copay-reduction card from drugmaker Sanofi would help some, but would still leave them to pay $270 for one vial, which would last them about a month….
Apidra is Gabriella’s “ONLY treatment option,” her doctor wrote in an appeals letter to the insurer, requesting a lower copay. The doctor’s request was denied.
No more Rube-Goldberg contraptions. Single-payer now.