Jackson, MO man reacts to federal lawsuit alleging insulin price - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Jackson, MO man reacts to federal lawsuit alleging insulin price hikes

If you are one of the almost 30 million people living with diabetes, you know how high those costs can be. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS) If you are one of the almost 30 million people living with diabetes, you know how high those costs can be. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
The spike in price may be news to some, but not to Jackson resident Will Johnston who lives with Type 1 diabetes. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS) The spike in price may be news to some, but not to Jackson resident Will Johnston who lives with Type 1 diabetes. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
Research from SSR Health shows over the past 4 years the companies raised their prices in most cases over 100%. (Source: KFVS) Research from SSR Health shows over the past 4 years the companies raised their prices in most cases over 100%. (Source: KFVS)
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

If you are one of the almost 30 million people living with diabetes, you know how high those costs can be.

Now, the federal government is taking aim at three drug companies for raising prices.

The spike in price may be news to some, but not to Jackson resident Will Johnston who lives with Type 1 diabetes.

"You have to pretty much squeeze as much [insulin] as you can out."

Jackson resident Will Johnston said getting his next vile of insulin hasn't always been easy.

"Otherwise it's called a quick trip to the hospital, and either go to the ER or end up going to the regular part and spending some time getting the blood sugar to come down," Johnston said.

So Johnston said he's pleased to know the federal government is going after companies for insulin price hikes.

The lawsuit alleges Sanofi, Eli Lilly, and Novonordisk competed in price.

"There was that constant worry whether or not I could afford the supplies that I needed to do it, and there was one time I just stopped checking my blood, because I kinda knew by the way my feet felt that my blood sugar was up," Johnston said.

Research from SSR Health shows over the past four years the companies raised their prices, in most cases more than 100 percent.

Johnston doesn't pay for his medication right now thanks to private health insurance, and an assistance program through Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau.

But that wasn't always the case. 

"Well, you kinda had to keep some money aside. I mostly did it with cash. I usually kept some cash back and then you ask them on the phone how much would it be so that way you knew how much money to bring," Johnston said.

Johnston said struggling with diabetes is bad, but rising costs add insult to injury.

"It's a constant battle every day, and then there are days when you don't do well, and you're wondering if the insulin is working, and what do I need to do to change it," Johnston said.

The companies responded to CBS News about the allegations.

All three do not believe they've broken any laws.

Johnston's health care plan is through the Affordable Care Act.

He said if it's repealed and replaced, he's not sure how it will affect him.

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