my preexisting condition.
Let's look at some numbers.
Since I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes four years ago, I've been injecting stuff into my belly each and every evening. I started with insulin before being switched over to Victoza, my current injectable, nearly two years ago.
I have pretty good health insurance, so my Victoza prescription costs me about $50 a month. If I didn't have health insurance and couldn't find a rebate anywhere? That little three-pen box costs nearly $950. That's for a one-month(ish) supply. That also would be well over 25 percent of my monthly take-home pay.
As I mentioned, I used insulin pens prior to starting Victoza. Again, if not for my health insurance, I'd have to hand over $400 for a three-month supply of those Lantus pens. A bargain, right?
Yeah, OK -- this really isn't something to joke about.
More numbers: From 2014 through 2016, spending on type 2 diabetes treatments shot up by 52.8 percent, according to health info tech firm IQVIA; spending on all other classes of drugs -- all of them -- increased by only 18.8 percent. And if you need these treatments and you're not as fortunate as I am -- and you have to rely on the inconsistent world of pricing, generics or rebates -- you're getting buried by your pharmacy bills.
Here's one more wrinkle: The current presidential administration has announced another push to not just scale back the Affordable Care Act, but to end it. Entirely. Know what happens then? A pretty good number of people with diabetes who have insurance now might not next year. And if they suddenly don't have coverage, questions about finding a thousand bucks a month to pay for Victoza become very real.
And without the contstraints of the ACA, insurance companies could suddenly decide that diabetes is a pre-existing condition and deny coverage. They could put annual or lifetime limits on what they'll pay to cover for people with diabetes. And that, boys and girls, could even happen to people with solid insurance. Like me.
It's up to you to decide what you'll do about the political considerations behind these issues. But I will ask one thing of you -- please make a donation to my American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure ride in the fall. Problems with insurance, politics and the economics of the drugs we take to help control our condition won't matter if there is finally a cure -- and that's what we're raising money for. I mean, it's right there in the title, people.
I want to contribute to better education about the disease, improved prevention, more effective treatments and -- finally and most importantly -- a cure. I'll ride 30 miles in this year's Tour de Cure, and I hope to raise $1,000 between now and then. And I hope you guys can help me.
Thank you, friends.
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