Local families crippled by insulin costs, hopeful for price cap bill

Local News

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Natalie Sargent pays $300 a month for her son’s insulin, with insurance. That is not counting the other expenses for someone living with diabetes.

“Your strips, your meters, your needles, alcohol, all the necessary things you need. That’s something you don’t expect to happen, money that you don’t put aside every month,” Sargent said.

Natalie’s son, Jaron, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was 13. Now, he’s 22 and she is worried once he is off her insurance, how he will afford this life-saving medicine?

“How will he take care of that? Just like with anybody. The people out there who don’t have insurance and can’t pay for their insulin. What do they do? This is not a medicine you can do without. This is a life-saving medicine,” Sargent said.

A new bill in West Virginia may provide relief for Natalie and her son. Two West Virginia lawmakers introduced legislation that would put a $25 cap on insulin co-pays.

The bill was passed by the House of Delegates, but still has to be passed by the Senate. If it does not pass, Natalie will not just worry for her son’s future. As a former ER Nurse, she knows what can happen when patients cannot afford to take their insulin.

“You can have kidney damage. You can end up on dialysis. You can lose limbs. You can end up in a mess that you can’t get out of,” Sargent said.

For now, diabetics hold their breath as they wait for the drug to become more affordable.

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