ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Mother's Day plea from a Minnesota mom is getting a lot of attention online.
Nicole Smith-Holt's son, Alec, suffered from diabetes; he died last June. She said he was having to ration his insulin because of the cost. She had no idea, until it was too late.
The medicine cost Alec between $1,000 and $2,000 month. On June 1st, the 26-year-old reached the limits of his health insurance policy.
"He was actually found dead in his apartment on June 27th," his mother said. "So he lasted 27 days not being covered."
The American Diabetes Association has launched a campaign for affordable insulin, calling on a congressional investigation into the three insulin manufacturers and their profit margins.
Those three drug companies are not disclosing their profit margins, but say they are trying to limit price increases and help patients have access to insulin.
There are no generic versions of insulin.
Alec's story is grabbing the attention of lawmakers.
'He died because he was rationing insulin since he couldn't afford $1,300 a month for insulin. This is a common place drug that has not changed, but the prices have gone up three times," said Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobucher.
The story is also taken an interest to many 11Alive viewers on Facebook. There are dozens of comments about others who use the life-saving medicine or knows someone else that is also affected by the high prices.
"I have been Type 1 for 49 years. I can remember, as a little kid, my insulin being $11 a bottle and now it's over $300 a bottle," one Facebook user said. "That is highway robbery, especially when insurance covers less every month."
Another said she has a son with Type 1 Diabetes.
"I sometimes wake at night worried about his future health because of insurance costs. It’s so wrong when insulin is a necessity to survival."
Last week, the Senate Committee on Aging heard from the father of a boy with diabetes. Paul Grant says he panicked in January when the price of his son's insulin tripled.
"Nearly a thousand dollars for medicine that Solomon absolutely needs to be alive," he said.
More than 334,810 people have joined the American Diabetes Association pushing for a change.
Read more about the organization's campaign here along with the online petition.
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