High Costs For Insulin Force Daughter To Ration, Split Medication With Father | Megyn Kelly TODAY


>>>WELCOME BACK, EVERYONE.>>>WELCOME BACK, EVERYONE. IMAGINE NEEDING A MEDICATION IN IMAGINE NEEDING A MEDICATION IN ORDER TO STAY ALIVE. ORDER TO STAY ALIVE. NOW IMAGINE IT COSTS HUNDREDS OF NOW IMAGINE IT COSTS HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS FOR JUST A SMALL DOSE. DOLLARS FOR JUST A SMALL DOSE. WHAT WOULD YOU DO? WHAT WOULD YOU DO? THAT IS THE LIFE AND DEATH THAT IS THE LIFE AND DEATH STRUGGLE FACED BY THE FAMILY STRUGGLE FACED BY THE FAMILY YOU’RE ABOUT TO MEET. YOU’RE ABOUT TO MEET. NOW THEY ARE DOING SOMETHING NOW THEY ARE DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT. ABOUT IT. WATCH THIS. WATCH THIS.>>YOU HAVE TO HAVE CONTROL OVER>>YOU HAVE TO HAVE CONTROL OVER EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE. EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE. I MEAN, YOUR DIET, YOUR I MEAN, YOUR DIET, YOUR EXERCISE. EXERCISE. BASICALLY YOU HAVE TO BE OKAY BASICALLY YOU HAVE TO BE OKAY WITH NEEDLES. WITH NEEDLES.>>PATTY WAS DIAGNOSED WITH>>PATTY WAS DIAGNOSED WITH DIABETES AT 16. DIABETES AT 16.>>MY MONITOR WILL SEND MY BLOOD>>MY MONITOR WILL SEND MY BLOOD DPLUK DPLUK GLUCOSE TO MY PUMP. GLUCOSE TO MY PUMP.>>HER INSULIN CO-PAY WENT FROM>>HER INSULIN CO-PAY WENT FROM $125 TO $550 A MONTH, A HUGE $125 TO $550 A MONTH, A HUGE FINANCIAL STRAIN ON HER FAMILY. FINANCIAL STRAIN ON HER FAMILY.>>IT WAS A VERY EMOTIONALLY>>IT WAS A VERY EMOTIONALLY TENSE TIME. TENSE TIME. ALL OF US WERE ON EDGE. ALL OF US WERE ON EDGE. WE DIDN’T KNOW WHERE I WOULD GET WE DIDN’T KNOW WHERE I WOULD GET MY NEXT LITTLE BATCH OF INSULIN. MY NEXT LITTLE BATCH OF INSULIN.>>HER DAD, RUSS, IS ALSO A>>HER DAD, RUSS, IS ALSO A DIABETIC. DIABETIC. MEDICARE WAS COVERING ABOUT 50% MEDICARE WAS COVERING ABOUT 50% OF HIS INSULIN COST. OF HIS INSULIN COST. THE FAMILY MADE A DIFFICULT THE FAMILY MADE A DIFFICULT DECISION. DECISION.>>WE HAD LIFESAVING MEDICINE IN>>WE HAD LIFESAVING MEDICINE IN THE REFRIGERATOR AND WE GAVE IT THE REFRIGERATOR AND WE GAVE IT TO OUR LAW. TO OUR LAW. WE BROKE THE LAW. WE BROKE THE LAW.>>I WAS SIPHONING OFF MY DAD’S>>I WAS SIPHONING OFF MY DAD’S SUPPLY AND USING LESS. SUPPLY AND USING LESS. I WAS PURPOSEFULLY ALLOWING I WAS PURPOSEFULLY ALLOWING INSULIN TO RUN HIGH SO IT WOULD INSULIN TO RUN HIGH SO IT WOULD LAST LONGER. LAST LONGER.>>HER INSULIN MEDICATION CAME>>HER INSULIN MEDICATION CAME FROM AN UNLIKELY SOURCE. FROM AN UNLIKELY SOURCE.>>THE DAUGHTER OF ONE OF MY>>THE DAUGHTER OF ONE OF MY FRIENDS PASSED AWAY. FRIENDS PASSED AWAY. SHE WAS A TYPE 1 DIABETIC. SHE WAS A TYPE 1 DIABETIC. SHE LEFT BEHIND INSULIN, PUMP SHE LEFT BEHIND INSULIN, PUMP SUPPLIES, TESTING STRIPS, SUPPLIES, TESTING STRIPS, EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING.>>SHE KNEW THE STRUGGLE WE WERE>>SHE KNEW THE STRUGGLE WE WERE HAVING THAT YEAR. HAVING THAT YEAR. SHE SAID TAKE IT HOME FOR SHE SAID TAKE IT HOME FOR HATTIE. HATTIE. THAT’S THE INSULIN THAT KEPT THAT’S THE INSULIN THAT KEPT HATTIE ALIVE THE REST OF THE HATTIE ALIVE THE REST OF THE YEAR. YEAR.>>INSULIN TO A TYPE 1 DIABETIC>>INSULIN TO A TYPE 1 DIABETIC IS EQUIVALENT TO WATER, OXYGEN. IS EQUIVALENT TO WATER, OXYGEN. I MEAN, THIS IS BASICALLY THE I MEAN, THIS IS BASICALLY THE AIR THAT I BREATHE. AIR THAT I BREATHE. WITHOUT IT, I DIE. WITHOUT IT, I DIE.>>PLEASE WELCOME HATTIE AND HER>>PLEASE WELCOME HATTIE AND HER PARENTS, DIANE AND RUSS SALZMAN. PARENTS, DIANE AND RUSS SALZMAN. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE. HERE. THERE HAD TO BE A LEVEL OF THERE HAD TO BE A LEVEL OF DISBELIEF EVEN AT YOUR YOUNG AGE DISBELIEF EVEN AT YOUR YOUNG AGE YOU ARE FACING THIS KIND OF COST YOU ARE FACING THIS KIND OF COST AND THIS AVAILABILITY OF A AND THIS AVAILABILITY OF A LIFESAVING MEDICATION. LIFESAVING MEDICATION.>>HONESTLY, I THINK IT’S EVEN>>HONESTLY, I THINK IT’S EVEN MORE INCREDIBLE THIS THING IS MORE INCREDIBLE THIS THING IS HAPPENING RIGHT UNDER OUR NOSES HAPPENING RIGHT UNDER OUR NOSES IN AMERICA. IN AMERICA. YOU WOULD THINK AMERICA WOULD BE YOU WOULD THINK AMERICA WOULD BE ON TOP OF THIS. ON TOP OF THIS. THAT’S KIND OF THE IMPRESSION THAT’S KIND OF THE IMPRESSION PEOPLE HAVE OF THIS COUNTRY. PEOPLE HAVE OF THIS COUNTRY.>>YOU ADMIT, YOU HAD TO BREAK>>YOU ADMIT, YOU HAD TO BREAK THE LAW TO STAY ALIVE. THE LAW TO STAY ALIVE.>>WE’RE CALLING IT CIVIL>>WE’RE CALLING IT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE RIGHT NOW. DISOBEDIENCE RIGHT NOW.>>I LIKE THAT BETTER.>>I LIKE THAT BETTER.>>SO WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT IT?>>SO WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT IT? WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT? WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?>>I THINK THE MOST IMPORTANT>>I THINK THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN THING IS CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN AND WRITE THEM. AND WRITE THEM. YOU NEED TO BE ABSOLUTELY YOU NEED TO BE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THAT THE PEOPLE YOU’RE CERTAIN THAT THE PEOPLE YOU’RE VOTING INTO OFFICE KNOW WHAT’S VOTING INTO OFFICE KNOW WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU. IMPORTANT TO YOU. WE’RE ASKING FOR PEOPLE TO FIND WE’RE ASKING FOR PEOPLE TO FIND THIS ISSUE IMPORTANT, BECAUSE THIS ISSUE IMPORTANT, BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY OF US THAT ARE THERE ARE SO MANY OF US THAT ARE SUFFERING FROM THIS. SUFFERING FROM THIS.>>THE ONLY WAY YOU GET YOUR>>THE ONLY WAY YOU GET YOUR COST DOWN FROM 550 A MONTH TO COST DOWN FROM 550 A MONTH TO $25 IS YOU WENT OFF YOUR $25 IS YOU WENT OFF YOUR PARENTS — YOU WERE NO LONGER PARENTS — YOU WERE NO LONGER CLAIMED AS A DEPENDENT. CLAIMED AS A DEPENDENT.>>RIGHT.>>RIGHT.>>WHAT HAPPENED ONCE YOU DID>>WHAT HAPPENED ONCE YOU DID THAT. THAT.>>I WAS ABLE TO USE MY OWN>>I WAS ABLE TO USE MY OWN INCOME FOR TAX PURPOSES. INCOME FOR TAX PURPOSES. SO WHEN I WAS APPLYING FOR SO WHEN I WAS APPLYING FOR INSURANCE THROUGH THE INSURANCE THROUGH THE MARKETPLACE I QUALIFIED FOR ARE MARKETPLACE I QUALIFIED FOR ARE A TAX CREDIT WHICH COVERS MY A TAX CREDIT WHICH COVERS MY PREMIUM EVERY MONTH. PREMIUM EVERY MONTH.>>OKAY.>>OKAY. YOU HAD TO GET POORER, AS YOU HAD TO GET POORER, AS SOMEBODY WHO WAS PREVIOUSLY A SOMEBODY WHO WAS PREVIOUSLY A DEPENDENT. DEPENDENT. WE FIND ALL WAYS OF MANIPULATING WE FIND ALL WAYS OF MANIPULATING THE SYSTEM TO GET WHAT WE NEED. THE SYSTEM TO GET WHAT WE NEED. EVERYBODY DOES THAT IN HEALTH EVERYBODY DOES THAT IN HEALTH CARE. CARE. I CAN’T IMAGINE, DIANE, AS A I CAN’T IMAGINE, DIANE, AS A MOTHER, WHEN YOU’VE GOT MOTHER, WHEN YOU’VE GOT DIABETES, TWO BELOVED FAMILY DIABETES, TWO BELOVED FAMILY MEMBERS, AND YOU CANNOT AFFORD MEMBERS, AND YOU CANNOT AFFORD THE MEDICATION YOUR DAUGHTER THE MEDICATION YOUR DAUGHTER NEEDS TO STAY ALIVE. NEEDS TO STAY ALIVE.>>THAT’S MY CONCERN BECAUSE I>>THAT’S MY CONCERN BECAUSE I WAS COVERING HER WITH INSURANCE WAS COVERING HER WITH INSURANCE AND WITH THE INSURANCE I WAS AND WITH THE INSURANCE I WAS COVERING HER WITH, WITH MY COVERING HER WITH, WITH MY INCOME, WE HAD A DEDUCTIBLE THAT INCOME, WE HAD A DEDUCTIBLE THAT WAS TOO HIGH. WAS TOO HIGH. THAT’S WHY WE NOW COVER HER WITH THAT’S WHY WE NOW COVER HER WITH HER INCOME. HER INCOME. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SHE GRADUATES WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SHE GRADUATES COLLEGE AND GETS A JOB THAT HAS COLLEGE AND GETS A JOB THAT HAS AN INCOME. AN INCOME.>>RIGHT.>>RIGHT. DOES IT GO BACK UP TO 550 A DOES IT GO BACK UP TO 550 A MONTH? MONTH?>>IT VERY WELL MAY.>>IT VERY WELL MAY. SOME OF MY FRIENDS, THEY HAVE SOME OF MY FRIENDS, THEY HAVE JOBS, AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT’S JOBS, AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT’S HAPPENING TO THEM. HAPPENING TO THEM.>>WHAT DID THAT FEEL LIKE FOR>>WHAT DID THAT FEEL LIKE FOR YOU, RUSS, IN THE MOMENT YOU YOU, RUSS, IN THE MOMENT YOU KNEW — YOU HAVE TYPE 1 DIABETES KNEW — YOU HAVE TYPE 1 DIABETES AS WELL. AS WELL. YOU KNOW YOUR DAUGHTER HAS GOT YOU KNOW YOUR DAUGHTER HAS GOT IT, THE MEDICATION IS TOO IT, THE MEDICATION IS TOO EXPENSIVE AND YOU GUYS START EXPENSIVE AND YOU GUYS START SHARING, RATIONING THE MEDS SHARING, RATIONING THE MEDS BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU. BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU.>>OUTRAGE.>>OUTRAGE. I WAS ANGRY. I WAS ANGRY. THE MORE I LOOKED INTO IT, THE THE MORE I LOOKED INTO IT, THE COST, SUDDEN INCREASES IN COST, SUDDEN INCREASES IN INSULIN AND ALSO OTHER DRUGS INSULIN AND ALSO OTHER DRUGS PEOPLE DEPEND ON, I BECAME EVEN PEOPLE DEPEND ON, I BECAME EVEN ANGRIER. ANGRIER. THE COST OF INSULIN BEARS NO THE COST OF INSULIN BEARS NO RELATIONSHIP TO MANUFACTURING RELATIONSHIP TO MANUFACTURING COST. COST. IT DOES NOT. IT DOES NOT. IT’S BEEN AROUND 100 YEARS, VERY IT’S BEEN AROUND 100 YEARS, VERY EASY TO PRODUCE. EASY TO PRODUCE. ELI LILLY KEEP TWEAKING PATENTS ELI LILLY KEEP TWEAKING PATENTS A LITTLE BIT SO THERE’S NO A LITTLE BIT SO THERE’S NO GENERIC. GENERIC.>>ALLOWS PRICES TO STAY UP.>>ALLOWS PRICES TO STAY UP. WE REACHED OUT TO ELI LILY. WE REACHED OUT TO ELI LILY. THE LIST PRICE, PEOPLE SHOULD THE LIST PRICE, PEOPLE SHOULD NOT PAY THOSE, BASED ON LOWERING NOT PAY THOSE, BASED ON LOWERING FOR iPS LUNN. FOR iPS LUNN. STAFFED WITH PHARMACISTS AND STAFFED WITH PHARMACISTS AND NURSES WHO HELP PEOPLE FIND NURSES WHO HELP PEOPLE FIND CUSTOMIZED SOLUTIONS TO MEET CUSTOMIZED SOLUTIONS TO MEET CIRCUMSTANCES. CIRCUMSTANCES. MORE THAN 2,000 PEOPLE HAVE USED MORE THAN 2,000 PEOPLE HAVE USED OUR HELP LINE TO MEANINGFULLY OUR HELP LINE TO MEANINGFULLY REDUCE WHAT THEY PAY AT THE REDUCE WHAT THEY PAY AT THE PHARMACY. PHARMACY. YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT. YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT.>>WE TRIED THAT.>>WE TRIED THAT. THEY DIDN’T HAVE HELP FOR US. THEY DIDN’T HAVE HELP FOR US.>>WE USED MANUFACTURING>>WE USED MANUFACTURING INCOMES. INCOMES. I APPLIED FOR A PROGRAM THAT I APPLIED FOR A PROGRAM THAT WOULD GRANT ME INSULIN EACH WOULD GRANT ME INSULIN EACH MONTH. MONTH. I WAS REJECTED BECAUSE OF I WAS REJECTED BECAUSE OF INSURANCE, DIDN’T TAKE INTO INSURANCE, DIDN’T TAKE INTO ACCOUNT DEDUCTIBLE, 550 CO-PAY. ACCOUNT DEDUCTIBLE, 550 CO-PAY.>>THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT CO-PAY.>>THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT CO-PAY.>>THEY LOOK AT YOU ON PAPER AND>>THEY LOOK AT YOU ON PAPER AND CHUCK YOU IN THE BIN. CHUCK YOU IN THE BIN.>>HAVEN’T WE ALL BEEN THERE,>>HAVEN’T WE ALL BEEN THERE, COLLEGE TUITION OR HEALTH COLLEGE TUITION OR HEALTH INSURANCE WHERE THEY DON’T LOOK INSURANCE WHERE THEY DON’T LOOK AT THE ACTUAL REAL LIFE AT THE ACTUAL REAL LIFE CIRCUMSTANCES. CIRCUMSTANCES. IT’S LIKE A ROBOT. IT’S LIKE A ROBOT. IT’S LIKE A COMPUTER THAT DOES IT’S LIKE A COMPUTER THAT DOES TAKE CALCULATION WITHOUT BEING A TAKE CALCULATION WITHOUT BEING A HUMAN. HUMAN. ALSO WITH US HERE IN THE ALSO WITH US HERE IN THE AUDIENCE, I WANT TO INTRODUCE AUDIENCE, I WANT TO INTRODUCE MELISSA SONG, AN MELISSA SONG, AN ENDOCRINOLOGIST. ENDOCRINOLOGIST. THE PROBLEM, HOW COMMON IS THIS? THE PROBLEM, HOW COMMON IS THIS? IT’S NOT JUST HATTIE’SES CASE, IT’S NOT JUST HATTIE’SES CASE, WHERE PEOPLE CANNOT GET THE WHERE PEOPLE CANNOT GET THE MEDICATION THEY NEED BECAUSE MEDICATION THEY NEED BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT ON MEDICARE, THEY ARE NOT ON MEDICARE, MEDICAID, THE OPPOSITE WHEN MEDICAID, THE OPPOSITE WHEN YOU’RE OLDER. YOU’RE OLDER. HOW COMMON IS THIS? HOW COMMON IS THIS?>>UNFORTUNATELY IT’S MORE>>UNFORTUNATELY IT’S MORE COMMON THAN WE WANT. COMMON THAN WE WANT. DIABETES ITSELF IS EXTREMELY DIABETES ITSELF IS EXTREMELY COMMON AND IT AFFECTS 30 MILLION COMMON AND IT AFFECTS 30 MILLION AMERICANS. AMERICANS. TYPE 1 DIABETES, IN WHICH THE TYPE 1 DIABETES, IN WHICH THE INSULIN DOESN’T MAKE ENOUGH — INSULIN DOESN’T MAKE ENOUGH — THE BODY DOESN’T MAKE ENOUGH THE BODY DOESN’T MAKE ENOUGH INSULIN AFFECTS 1.25 MILLION INSULIN AFFECTS 1.25 MILLION AMERICANS. AMERICANS. INSULIN IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL INSULIN IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL TO LIFE, LIKE HATTIE WAS SAYING. TO LIFE, LIKE HATTIE WAS SAYING. SO WHAT INSULIN DOES, INSULIN IS SO WHAT INSULIN DOES, INSULIN IS MADE FROM THE PANCREAS. MADE FROM THE PANCREAS. IT HELPS PUSH THE BLOOD SUGAR IT HELPS PUSH THE BLOOD SUGAR FROM THE BLOOD STREAM INTO THE FROM THE BLOOD STREAM INTO THE MUSCLES AND OTHER TISSUES TO MUSCLES AND OTHER TISSUES TO PROVIDE ENERGY NEEDED FOR DAILY PROVIDE ENERGY NEEDED FOR DAILY LIFE. LIFE. SO SIMILAR TO HOW IF WE HAD A SO SIMILAR TO HOW IF WE HAD A NONFUNCTIONING DRAIN, WATER NONFUNCTIONING DRAIN, WATER WOULD BACK UP AND OVERFLOW FROM WOULD BACK UP AND OVERFLOW FROM A BATHTUB, IF SOMEONE DIDN’T A BATHTUB, IF SOMEONE DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH INSULIN — HAVE ENOUGH INSULIN –>>THEY AREN’T DEBATING WHETHER>>THEY AREN’T DEBATING WHETHER IT’S NECESSARY, THEY ARE IT’S NECESSARY, THEY ARE DEBATING WHETHER THEY SHOULD DEBATING WHETHER THEY SHOULD GIVE IT TO YOU AT A COST YOU CAN GIVE IT TO YOU AT A COST YOU CAN AFFORD. AFFORD. OBAMACARE, WE’VE TRIED TO REVAMP OBAMACARE, WE’VE TRIED TO REVAMP HEALTH CARE SO MANY TIMES, AND HEALTH CARE SO MANY TIMES, AND STILL HERE YOU ARE. STILL HERE YOU ARE. ARE YOU OKAY NOW? ARE YOU OKAY NOW?>>I’M OKAY NOW.>>I’M OKAY NOW. MY CO-PAY IS $25. MY CO-PAY IS $25. NEXT YEAR I HAVEN’T MADE ANY NEXT YEAR I HAVEN’T MADE ANY MORE MONEY THIS YEAR. MORE MONEY THIS YEAR. SO THEORETICALLY I’VE STILL GOT SO THEORETICALLY I’VE STILL GOT IT. IT.>>AS LONG AS YOU CAN STAY>>AS LONG AS YOU CAN STAY TOTALLY UNSUCCESSFUL IN YOUR TOTALLY UNSUCCESSFUL IN YOUR FUTURE, YOU’RE GOING TO BE FINE. FUTURE, YOU’RE GOING TO BE FINE.>>EXACTLY.>>EXACTLY. EXACTLY. EXACTLY. I WILL CONTINUE TO BE A NONPAID I WILL CONTINUE TO BE A NONPAID ACTIVIST. ACTIVIST.>>RIGHT.>>RIGHT. WELL SAID. WELL SAID. A CIVILLY DISOBEDIENT NONPAID A CIVILLY DISOBEDIENT NONPAID ACTIVIST. ACTIVIST. IT SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BE THIS IT SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY. WAY. LISTEN, WE DID REACH OUT TO BLUE LISTEN, WE DID REACH OUT TO BLUE CROSS? CROSS? IS THAT YOUR INSURER? IS THAT YOUR INSURER? IS THAT WHY WE’RE REACHING OUT. IS THAT WHY WE’RE REACHING OUT.>>2017 PROFIT THIS WAS>>2017 PROFIT THIS WAS UNFORTUNATE SITUATION. UNFORTUNATE SITUATION. OUR MISSION IS TO HELP PROMOTE, OUR MISSION IS TO HELP PROMOTE, RISING COSTS CHALLENGES, RISING RISING COSTS CHALLENGES, RISING SYSTEM AS A WHOLE HAS SYSTEM AS A WHOLE HAS CHALLENGES. CHALLENGES. WE’RE WORKING ON INNOVATIVE WAYS WE’RE WORKING ON INNOVATIVE WAYS TO CONTROL THE COST OF CARE. TO CONTROL THE COST OF CARE. FEEL BETTER? FEEL BETTER? FEEL BETTER? FEEL BETTER? YEAH. YEAH. ME NEITHER.