What Is the Monthly Cost of Diabetes Medication and Supplies?

If you’re on social media often or you follow the news, you’ve probably heard about the price of insulin and other medications for diabetes.

People who have diabetes, or family members with diabetes, are more panicked now than ever by the price of insulin. With the cost skyrocketing and people continuing to be diagnosed with diabetes, many people wonder how they’re going to keep paying for it!

The price is getting to a point where people have to decide between paying bills or for medicine because of their insulin costs. Medication usually wins, because it’s what keeps a diabetic person alive.

If you’re curious to know about the cost of diabetes medication, we compiled some important information for you. Keep reading to learn more about the cost of diabetes medication!

What is the Cost of Diabetes Medication?

On average, a diabetic person will spend $1,700 every three months on medication.

This steep price could buy a newer-model Macbook or even a vacation for a week. Instead, people living with diabetes must spend this amount on medication to keep themselves alive.

The reality is, almost half of Americans will have to pay this huge fee that comes with treating diabetes. That’s because around half of Americans live with diabetes.

Diabetes is actually considered the most expensive chronic disease in the United States.

In the United States alone, hundreds of billions of dollars are spent every year on diabetes medication. Unfortunately, a huge portion of Americans have diabetes, so this chronic condition is emptying their wallets quickly. 

While the high price of prescription drugs can be a burden to everyone, diabetes is especially difficult to manage. This is because medication must be used every day in order to stay alive.

How is Diabetes Diagnosed?

There are two main types of diabetes that people can be diagnosed with.

While the two types do differ in their own ways, both types of diabetes impact the ability to regulate glucose, which is also called blood sugar. The first type is type 1. With type 1, the body doesn’t produce glucose at all.

This must be treated because glucose is kind of like the key to entering your body’s cells. Glucose entering the cells is essential to human health. With type 2 diabetes, the glucose doesn’t properly make its way into the cells.

While the body does produce glucose in type 2 diabetes, it often doesn’t interact well with insulin, and eventually, the body will stop making glucose. 

Symptoms that indicate diabetes in a patient include…

  • Urinating frequently
  • Often feeling tired or fatigued
  • Feeling hungry often 
  • Having blurred vision
  • Getting cuts or bruises that don’t seem to be healing quickly
  • Feeling thirsty often, but thirst doesn’t feel quenched by drinking

The difference between diagnosing type 1 and type 2 diabetes is usually based on when the symptoms develop. Type 1 is immediate, while type 2 can happen fairly late in life.

Since glucose is essential for the cells absorbing nutrients, both types of diabetes must be treated with medication to keep the body running. To order insulin, follow the link.

What Medications Are Used to Treat Diabetes?

Along with establishing a healthy diet and exercise, diabetes is treated with…

  • Metformin– Causes the body to use insulin more effectively
  • Sulfonylureas– Helps body secrete insulin
  • Meglitinides– Faster acting way of secreting insulin
  • Insulin– Most common medication used with diabetes
  • Thiazolidinediones– Makes the tissue in the body more sensitive to receiving insulin
  • GLP-1 receptor agonists– Helps lower blood sugar levels with a slow-digesting formula
  • DPP-4 inhibitors– Modestly lower blood sugar levels

While caring for type 1 diabetes requires medication regardless of lifestyle factors, type 2 diabetes can be treated with a combination of lifestyle changes and medication.

Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity. Poor eating habits, as well as inactivity, will contribute to type 2 diabetes. To reduce the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes should be considered.

Choosing to track the food you’re eating can be helpful for minimizing the effects of type 2 diabetes. Lowering the amount of processed food, sugar, and simple carbohydrates are necessary.

Along with changes in diet, it’s recommended to start on an exercise plan. This exercise plan should consist of cardiovascular exercise as well as resistance training.

Diabetes Medication Cost Rising

The cost of insulin has risen dramatically in recent years.

Even insulin that has existed for around 20 years has seen a 49% increase in price. As the older insulin prices rise, the newer medications are unaffordable for many diabetic people.

Brand-name diabetes medications are increasing in price significantly, as well as injectable medications. Oral medications have also seen raised prices.

It’s been documented that newer diabetes medications can cost as much as $600 per month to use. This price is way too steep for most people or families, so people are having to go without newer medications.

As a result, diabetics are having to lean on older medications, which are still incredibly expensive.

Healthcare Providers’ Opinions on High Insulin Prices

Healthcare providers who treat people with diabetes are struggling with the increase in pricing as well.

Many healthcare providers are trying to do anything in their power to get their patients the insulin that they need. This may include giving out samples, which isn’t enough to sustain a diabetic person.

Healthcare providers are also trying to find ways to cover low-income individuals’ insulin. The doctors who treat diabetes recognize that $600 per month isn’t practical for patients.

Patients have bills to pay, so they have to go for any insulin that they can afford. Unfortunately, this is often mixed insulin, which is not the most effective type of medicine for diabetes.

In fact, it’s recommended that anyone suffering from diabetes have a glucose monitor, injectable medication, and fast-acting insulin. All of these are essential for monitoring and controlling diabetes, yet, so many people can’t afford this.

Affording Diabetes Medication Can Be a Challenge

Paying for medication to treat diabetes can be stressful and even seem impossible sometimes, yet, diabetic people don’t have a choice but to pay. 

If you found this article on the cost of diabetes medication helpful, check out our Healthy Life Tips section!