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Posts tagged ‘Elizabeth Rowley’

Guest Post: People with Diabetes are Demonstrating for #insulin4all

Today’s guest post comes from Elizabeth Rowley, director of T1International – an organization working towards sustainable access and affordability of insulin, diabetes supplies, medical care and education for all people living with type 1 diabetes.  They are planning a protest at Eli Lilly on September 9th, and Elizabeth is borrowing SUM today to share the who, what, where, and why of that plan.

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The diabetes community has watched in agony as the prices of insulin have increased again and again, with the most recent outrageous increase of 7.8% by Eli Lilly. To get right down to it, the list price of Humalog was $274.70 per a vial as of May 2017. That’s a price increase of 1123% since June 1996.

Insulin manufacturers keep the cost of insulin production a tightly-guarded secret, but U.S. prices are likely hundreds of times higher than the cost of making the drug. Patients in the U.S. and internationally have died due to an inability to afford insulin, and physicians report seeing an increasing number of insulin-deprived patients coming into emergency rooms in crisis. The insulin price increases have been called “price-gouging, plain and simple” by U.S. Senators and a “racket” by an endocrinologist writing in the New York Times.

We in the diabetes community have expressed our frustration online, in meetings with these companies, and in numerous blog posts. T1International has also had conversations with some of the “big three” insulin producers about insulin affordability, but unsurprisingly we were met with standard PR responses and blame shifting. Some of our other attempts to talk have been ignored, but the diabetes community as a whole has been talking to Lilly and others about these issues for a long time. Eli Lilly, Sanofi, and Novo Nordisk know that people are outraged, suffering and dying because insulin costs too much.

I think most of us can agree that none of the concerns that have been expressed have been taken seriously enough. Taking patients concerns seriously does not mean somber conversations, hosting forums with advocates or creating limited charity programs. It means actually making insulin affordable and not wringing every last dollar of profit out of desperate people. It means putting people before profits because pharma’s prices are putting people in danger.

That is why an #insulin4all demonstration is being held outside of Eli Lilly’s headquarters in Indianapolis on September 9th. People with diabetes are demanding change.

Specifically, we are asking Eli Lilly for three things:

  1. Be transparent about how much it costs to make one vial of Humalog insulin
  2. Be transparent about your profits from each vial
  3. Stop the immoral act of price-gouging and lower the price of insulin

graphic provided by T1International

Why Eli Lilly, you ask? The location of our partner organizations, People of Faith for Access to Medicines and Public Citizen in Indiana, makes Lilly a good first target. On September 8th, in solidarity with the protesters, we will also be holding an online day of action about insulin pricing – addressing all three players in the insulin market.

We know that Novo Nordisk and Sanofi are just as much a part of the problem as Eli Lilly, and that all of them must be held accountable. We are very open to planning something similar outside Novo and Sanofi in the future, so if you want to help organize, please get in touch!

These companies’ business models are dependent on government decisions about regulations and bulk purchases of their products, so the companies absolutely will provide transparency and lower prices if the people and their representatives demand it. This demonstration can amplify our cries and raise public awareness that the price gouging must be reined in. We believe the momentum will continue to build, and we hope you will join us in speaking out.

If you are planning to attend the Indiana demonstration or want to stay up to date with the event, join us on Facebook in our #insulin4all Action group.

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Elizabeth Rowley is the Director of T1International. She was born in the United States and has lived with type 1 diabetes for more than 25 years. Elizabeth moved to London in 2011 to complete her Master’s degree in International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science and she founded T​1​International in 2013. T1International’s aim is to unite the diabetes community and advocate for equal access to insulin, diabetes supplies, medical care and education for all people living with type 1 diabetes, no matter where they live. Elizabeth believes that where you were born should not determine whether you live or die with diabetes, and she is confident that by working together we can find long-term solutions.

 

 

Guest Post: T1International – Making an Impact Through Art.

With Diabetes Art Day just behind us and now in the middle of the Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign, the concept of art and awareness for the greater diabetes good is on the forefront.  Which is why I’m excited to host a guest post from Elizabeth Rowley, founder of T1International, who is aiming to raise funds for the AYUDA organization through artwork.  Take it away, Elizabeth!

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I’m Elizabeth Rowley and I am the founder of T1International. I have lived with type 1 diabetes for almost 22 years and my passion is diabetes around the world, particularly access to insulin and diabetes education. It is hard for me to accept the fact that people are still dying due to lack of insulin, despite it being made available for use by people with diabetes almost 100 years ago. My background in international development and hunger to learn more about these problems and their potential solutions let me to create a web site about global diabetes organizations and topics.

Through T1Internatioanl, I discovered the organization AYUDA (American Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad) and I knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of. Having recently completed the IDF Young Leaders in Diabetes training in Melbourne, where I connected with young people living with diabetes from all corners of the globe, I was inspired to do more to create the change I want to see in the diabetes community.

I am fundraising to volunteer and to make AYUDA programs possible. In June, I will go to the Dominican Republic to plan and put on a summer camp for kids with diabetes (and their families). Diabetes camp meant the world to me when I was growing up, so this is the perfect opportunity for me to give something back and ensure that kids who are lacking in supplies and education get the knowledge to help them survive and thrive with diabetes. For many, it will be their first chance to interact with others living with diabetes. You can read more about my motivation for the program, and the program itself, at my fundraising page here or at www.t1international.com/ayuda.

I am not taking this fundraising lightly. My husband (who also has type 1 diabetes) and I recently opened an online marketplace through T1International, which has been something we have wanted to do for a long time to use our combined interest in art, and all things creative, to support international diabetes causes. The T1I Marketplace is an online shop where you can purchase artwork made by people with diabetes (and supporters of people with diabetes) in exchange for donations to the AYUDA program. Every item you ‘buy’ will support kids in the Dominican Republic to live happier, healthier lives – so it’s a win-win! In the future, we hope that the T1I Market can be used to fundraise for other causes as well, so we won’t stop after we reach the AYUDA target.

Be sure to have a look, and please note that we can customize almost anything to make sure your art is special to you. Here is a selection of some of the diabetes-related art up for grabs at the marketplace:

To see more art and donate/place your order, visit the marketplace, and you can visit the AYUDA website for more information about the registered charity.  Thank you!

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Thanks, Elizabeth, for making a difference in our global community!

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