Americans with diabetes face an insulin crisis – but Canada is no paradise, either

This is an opinion piece in The Globe & Mail

Jan Hux is the president and CEO of Diabetes Canada.

Canadians have so much to be proud of in their history, and one part of that proud heritage is that this is the birthplace of insulin – a hormone discovered by Frederick Banting and Charles Best that has transformed the lives of people living with type 1 diabetes.

Recent news about insulin “caravans” coming from the United States might contribute to our sense of good fortune at being Canadian. The stories of U.S. citizens who struggle to pay upwards of US$340 for each vial of insulin, a therapy they cannot possibly live without, are heartbreaking. And the debate about the unsustainable costs of living with type 1 diabetes in that country has reached the presidential campaign, with Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders joining one such insulin shopping trip to Windsor, Ont., this past weekend.

Their trip to Canada to find affordable insulin paints a rosy picture of our health-care system. But while feeling smug relative to the U.S.’s health-care system is a bit of a national pastime, many of the 300,000 Canadians living with type 1 diabetes face significant difficulties. Insulin may be more affordable in Canada – but our picture is hardly perfect.

More here –> The Globe & Mail

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