In the U.S., almost one-third of the total population is affected by diabetes. Among that, 4.9 million African-American adults have diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes, compared to 7.1% of non-Hispanic white Americans. It is a startling statistic that has all the signs of an expanding epidemic. If not addressed, it will only continue to grow and affect more of our communities.
Diabetes is a disease that affects our wellbeing and places a financial burden on families and the health care system. In 2007, $218 billion was, directly and indirectly, related to complications with diabetes. Even more troubling is that although we’ve increased access to medical care and the practice of medicine has improved, there are still disparities that exist and must be addressed.
For individuals or families that have loved ones diagnosed with diabetes, expenses can quickly add up. Even those with insurance, sometimes, are unable to get approved for certain medicines due to restrictive coverage. The reality of missing medication dosages puts many at risk of irreparable vision, kidney, and nerve damage.
The NAACP recognizes that the affordability of managing diabetes can be overwhelming, and many are unable to keep pace with the rising cost of medication. As one of the oldest civil rights organizations with a mission to ensure the health and wellbeing of all persons, we are committed to eliminating barriers to healthcare and treatment. Our partners in this fight, Eli Lilly and Company, is working to relieve the financial burden of care through the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center.
The Lilly Diabetes Solution Center helps more than 20,000 people each month to more easily afford their Lilly insulin. Among the solutions offered, the helpline may provide a discount at the pharmacy counter, direct patients to free clinics and/or render general support for immediate needs. Those that need help with solutions can dial (833) 808 1234 to speak to a representative Monday through Friday (9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST).
Access to care is crucial, but the affordability of that same care is essential for so many living with diabetes. It’s disheartening to imagine that in 2019, with so many medical advances, the most vulnerable among us still grapple with proper and affordable care. The Lilly Diabetes Solution Center is a step in the right direction and will alleviate the financial burden of managing diabetes, as well as offer insight on best practices to live a healthy life. We stand with Lilly as they forge a way forward on creating solutions to care.