Diabetes: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

By The Seattle Medium

Over the years, one of the common phrases that has been passed down from generation to generation and embraced is “what you don’t know can’t hurt you.” As it relates to taking control of your health and healthy living nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that knowledge is power. Knowing your risk factors for health concerns and disparities can help empowers you to take control of your life.

The Seattle Medium Newspaper has always been at the forefront of advocating for a better, healthy lifestyle choices and initiatives. We also inform our readers about health care disparities including limited access to affordable medications and what they can do to advocate for themselves. However,

When it comes to diabetes, studies show that African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes. The rates of diagnosed diabetes among African Americans is 12.7% compared to 7.4% of whites nationwide. It is estimated that 1 out of every 3 children born after 2000 in the United States will be directly affected by diabetes, and currently 1 in 5 health care dollars is spent caring for someone with diabetes. It also has a direct impact on the lives of over a million people.

Washingtonians are increasingly feeling the effects of diabetes as over 640,000 residents suffer from the disease, and many others may have diabetes and not know it.

According to a 2017 Washington State Diabetes Epidemic and Action Report, 1 of 7 adults in Washington State over the age of 20 have diabetes, and nearly on fourth of them are not aware of their diabetes diagnosis. In addition, an estimated 2 million adults (or 1 in 3) living in Washington State have pre-diabetes, of which 15-30% will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years. Diabetes is also the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20-74 years.

In 2004, 298,000 people had diagnosed diabetes; an estimated 126,000 people had diabetes that had not yet been diagnosed, and another 963,000 had pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance). If left untreated or monitored appropriately with the right medicine and lifestyle changes such as nutrition and exercise, diabetes can wreak havoc on major organ systems, resulting in blindness, foot amputations, kidney failure, heart disease and stroke.

The human and financial costs associated with diabetes are also significant: in 2003, the charges alone for 70,009 diabetes-related hospitalizations in Washington amounted to more than $1.27 billion dollars.

When it’s hard to afford medication, people may try to ration their insulin or not use it as often. That is not a good thing and not wise.

Eli Lilly and Company understands these gaps, circumstances and burdens of costs in our community. They understand that there are gaps in health care costs for communities of color and working to help close it by reducing the cost of insulin.

In order to help address this issues, Eli Lilly and company recently launched the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center and Helpline which helps provide solutions to people who need help paying for their insulin including those with lower incomes, the uninsured, and people paying high premiums health insurance. It is a multifaceted approach to helping diabetes sufferers afford necessary medications.

Diabetes patients can call the hotline and representatives will work with them and develop a cost-savings plan based on the patient’s needs. As diabetes cases continue to increase in this area, we understands Lilly’s program in providing help to meet immediate needs for insulin.

About the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center and Helpline
The Solution Center is a solution-oriented program to provide relief for those who are not insured, underinsured or have high out-of-pocket expenses. It will assist people to gain access to affordable insulin, resources and options. Specifically, the center provides cost savings solutions, free clinic information to receive support and short-term and long-term options for immediate needs.

Lilly is dedicated to making sure that no one has to pay full price for insulin. And for those who currently pay high costs of insulin, Lilly is wants to provide lower costs insulin options.

“We don’t want anyone to have to pay full list price for their insulin, and many people who do will be able to pay significantly less by calling our helpline,” said Mike Mason, senior vice president, Connected Care and Insulins. “Our goal is to ensure that people paying high out-of-pocket costs for Lilly insulins are matched with the best solution available to reduce their financial burden and help ensure they receive the treatment they need.”

Lilly has also donated insulin to three relief agencies that serves communities of color globally and particularly in the US — Americares, Direct Relief and Dispensary of Hope. They have distributed insulin to 150 free clinics around the country. The helpline will direct people toward these clinics in their local communities and provide information on how they can obtain it.

“We encourage people who pay near full list price for insulin and those who don’t have the financial means to afford the costs they face to call the helpline,” Mason said. “We want to help people find ways to obtain insulin at more affordable prices.”

You can call the Lilly Diabetes Solutions Center helpline at 833-808-1234 to get more information and immediate assistance. Representatives will be available from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm (ET) Monday through Friday.