Over 1 million Americans with diabetes rationed insulin, says new report
A new report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that an estimated 1.3 million U.S. adults with diabetes rationed their insulin in the past year, representing 16.5% of those who use prescribed insulin.
The report found that people with diabetes rationed their insulin by delaying when they refill their prescription, skipping doses, or using a smaller dose. The report also indicated that rationing was more widespread among lower- and middle-income participants (15% and 20%, respectively) compared with higher income people (11%). Black participants were found to ration (23%) more frequently compared with white or Hispanic participants (16%).
Rationing was most frequent among uninsured individuals, with 29% saying they had rationed insulin. Among those with private insurance, 19% rationed the drug, citing high copays, along with 14% of Medicare recipients, and 12% of Medicaid recipients.
The report was based on data from an ongoing CDC health research project in which researchers were studying a nationally representative sample of 982 adults who use insulin to treat diabetes. Findings indicate the rationing is linked to the high price of insulin and “inadequate” insurance coverage.