BALTIMORE — Did you know that here in Maryland an estimated 623,000 people, or 12.6% of the population, now have diabetes? Of these, 156,000 of them have diabetes and simply do not know it. In addition, 1,634,000 people in Maryland or a staggering 36.9% of the population, have pre-diabetes.
American Diabetes Association estimates that over 30 million Americans are affected by diabetes and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. In our community, studies show that we are disproportionately affected by diabetes. The rates of diagnosed diabetes among African Americans is 12.7% compared to 7.4% of whites.
Diabetes is a dangerous and deadly illness if not monitored and controlled. Unchecked, it can result in heart disease, stroke, amputation, end-stage kidney disease, blindness and death. In fact, the Maryland Health Department’s Annual Vital Statistics Report reports that diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death in 2017 where 33.2% of those were African Americans compared to 15.9% of whites.
When diabetes is diagnosed, it can be very expensive to treat. African Americans not only face the dilemma of increased diabetes diagnoses, but also face numerous of health care challenges when trying to manage diabetes for a better quality; such as cost for treatments, medications, limited supplies and access to primary care. In fact, people with diabetes have medical expenses about 2.3 times higher than those without it.
When it is hard to afford medication, people may be tempted to try to ration their insulin or not use it as often. That is unwise and even less so with diabetes, which requires lifestyle changes and vigilance with medications.
Eli Lilly and Company, a global leader in diabetes care, understands these gaps, circumstances and burdens of costs in our community. They understand that there are gaps in health care for communities of color and working to help close it by reducing the cost of insulin. They have launched the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center and Helpline to help provide solutions to people who need help paying for their insulin, such as those with lower incomes, the uninsured, and people still paying their deductible in a high-deductible insurance plan. It is truly an innovative program with a multifaceted approach to helping diabetes sufferers afford necessary medications.
The Baltimore Times applauds Eli Lilly for this new effort and the work they have done to help patients access and afford treatments and get on the road to a healthier lifestyle.
Diabetes patients can call the center and representatives will work with them and develop a cost-savings plan based on the patient’s economic and personal situations. The Lilly Diabetes Solution Center phone number is 1-833-808-1234. The call center is fully staffed by health care professionals such as nurses and pharmacists who have the expertise to assist patients.
As diabetes cases continue to increase, Lilly’s program is providing help for people with immediate needs for insulin.
Our hats are off to Lilly for actively trying to help those with this disease. It is this sort of ground-breaking and compassionate thinking that can spur the entire health care industry to establish practices that get the most vulnerable the health care they need, keep more of us healthy and save money for patients in the long run.
About the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center and Helpline
The Solution Center is a solution-oriented program to provide relief for those who are not insured, under insured or have high out-of-pocket expenses. It will assist people to gain access to affordable insulin, resources and options. Specifically, the center provides cost savings solutions, free clinic information to receive support and short-term and long-term options for immediate needs.
Lilly is dedicated to making sure that no one has to pay full price for insulin. And for those who currently pay high costs of insulin, Lilly wants to provide lower costs insulin options.
“We don’t want anyone to have to pay full list price for their insulin, and many people who do will be able to pay significantly less by calling our helpline,” said Mike Mason, senior vice president, Connected Care and Insulins. “Our goal is to ensure that people paying high out-of-pocket costs for Lilly insulins are matched with the best solution available to reduce their financial burden and help ensure they receive the treatment they need.”
Lilly has also donated insulin to three relief agencies that serves communities of color globally and particularly in the US — Americares, Direct Relief and Dispensary of Hope. They have distributed insulin to 150 free clinics around the country. The helpline will direct people toward these clinics in their local communities and provide information on how they can obtain it.
Lilly wants to hear from those who have trouble paying or cannot afford their insulin by calling the helpline. If there is an immediate need, please call the helpline to learn the immediate and long-term best options of care.
Help is available now by calling the Lilly Diabetes Solutions Center helpline at 833-808-1234 to get more information and immediate assistance. Representatives will be available from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm (ET) Monday through Friday