More than a million American adults with diabetes may have had to skip or ration doses of insulin in the past year as the cost of the life-saving medication soared under the Biden administration, according to a new study.
It was led by researchers at Harvard Medical School, City University of New York’s Hunter College, and the nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen.
Researchers analyzed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2021 National Health Interview Survey, which included 982 people with diabetes who use insulin.
Questions in the survey included whether adult insulin users had skipped doses in the past year, taken less insulin than they required, or delayed taking the insulin in an effort to save money. If respondents answered yes to any of those three questions, researchers considered them to be rationing doses.
The responses of those adults were used to serve as a representative sample of more than 6 million American adults with diabetes. Based on this, researchers found that 16.5 percent, or up to 1.3 million insulin users, rationed the medication.
Additionally, researchers found that delaying the purchase of insulin was the most common form of rationing among respondents, while among individuals with Type 1 diabetes, taking less insulin than needed was the most common response.
Furthermore, researchers found that younger adults (20.4 percent) were more likely to ration the much-needed medication compared to seniors over 65 years of age (11.2 percent).
Doctor Says Urgent Policy Change NeededRates of insulin rationing were also highest among individuals without health insurance, according to the study, and lowest among those insured through Medicaid.
Researchers noted that participants in the survey who rationed insulin said they felt overwhelmed by the demands of living with diabetes.
The results of the study come as President Joe Biden continues to argue that inflation will worsen if Republicans win control of Congress in the midterm elections in November.