Join the NYC vigil and insulin protest Sept 5

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If you’re in NYC this Thursday Sept 5, join advocates of T1International gathering for a vigil for those who have died due to the high cost of insulin, and holding a peaceful protest. I spent yesterday, my birthday, helping to paint slogans on signs for the movement.

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Since 1996, the list price of insulin has increased by over 1200% in the United States. Eli Lilly’s Humalog insulin increased in price by 585% between 2001 and 2015 alone.

“People with type 1 diabetes are tired of watching our people die from debilitating insulin prices while pharmaceutical companies like Eli Lilly rake in billions in profit,” said T1International’s New York Chapter Leader Lauren Lehrer. “The emotional and financial weight of affording our care is ever-present in our lives and the lives of our families. Our vigil is a call to hold insulin manufacturers accountable for price-gouging patients. Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi business practices are killing and maiming us. We gather to say no more.”

Now that I’m on Medicare, after four months of partial insulin coverage you fall into the donut hole, meaning the majority of the cost of insulin is on you. It’s incredible at 66 after 47 years with type 1 diabetes I’m forced to think which friend in Canada I will visit to bring insulin over the border.

This fight about the high cost of insulin (unaffordable for too many without health insurance) is gaining momentum predominantly from the grassroots efforts of those of us who live with diabetes.

So wielding a white paintbrush yesterday seemed like a perfect way to spend my birth day.

One thought on “Join the NYC vigil and insulin protest Sept 5

  1. Riva, thank you for being with us for the preparations. The vigil was a powerful event. I want to clarify one point in your writing: “While the pharma/health insurance system is complex for an easy fix” — not quite. Thats the messaging pushed forward by industry through the entirety of the DOC. The complexity emerges from a clear pattern-of-abusive-actions. So let’s clear up the purposeful confusion.

    Here’s 3 clear points of how to think about this. We need to:
    1. Increase government negotiating power
    2. Block price hikes
    3. Curb monopoly abuse

    In more detail:
    1. Lack of negotiating power by U.S. government with pharma for drug prices — every other country allows for direct negotiation for the price of drugs — meaning, the industry can’t just set any price it wants. The biggest buyer of drugs – medicare- must have the authority to negotiate for the price which drugs are bought for Americans. Currently, the govt is not allowed to do so — which is simply, bonkers, and when we say ‘the power of the pharmaceutical industry’, this is what is meant. They are holding U.S. citizens hostage to their prices.

    2. Pharma can increase their prices by any amount – there are no legal repercussions currently – and they do. One strong proposal is to revoke the drug patent and authorize generics for companies who raise their prices beyond a pre-determined amount. See the Doggett Bill: https://doggett.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/doggett-brown-announce-bicameral-medicare-drug-price-negotiation-bill

    3. Drug patent monopolies, where pharmaceutical industry has abused the IP process, making tiny variations on their drugs to extend their patents in perpetuity, also through ‘patent thickening.’

    All of these are the abusive actions of greed by the pharmaceutical industry, and a blatant abuse of power. There is not complexity here: these are clear patterns and actions of abuse that we are building the power to overcome.

    In terms of last nights vigil, it was stunning and the first of many in NY.

    Photos here:
    Here are photos by Thomas Egan:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/gaf3vj3iclzx5jh/InsulinMarch_jpegs.zip?dl=0

    Here are photos by Erik McGregor:
    http://erikmcgregor.com/2019/09/05/insulin-for-all-vigil/?fbclid=IwAR0vGIdnSflq5Qwov0aArTlGPeLXjMd_YC66mD9sVhkWAaZe3JFRXxGjhzk
    ^^ with article

    All Erik’s Photos:
    https://www.lightrocket.com/galleries/21809/nyc-advocates-protest-high-cost-of-insulin?fbclid=IwAR2snYKwQjwjdQ2KijTWgkJELhTKICa5wrL2eYb-yzZskyDMv1bFRNHhQlw

    solidarity and love,
    Marina.

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