When the four-car caravan set out for Ontario, it was part protest, part press conference, and part act of survival. For one mother, it was also an act of remembrance.

Insulin in Canada sells for a fraction — roughly one-tenth — of what it costs in the U.S., and these Minnesotans were determined to see whether they could get a better deal by jumping in a car and crossing the border. So, that’s what they did. On Saturday, six advocates, three reporters, two photographers, and a pair of supportive parents piled into four cars, all emblazoned with hand-painted slogans of “#Insulin4All,” and made the pilgrimage from the Twin Cities to Fort Frances.

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  • Walmart still has two types of insulin that are $25 per vial. They have the short-acting and long-acting but even the long-acting seem to be shorter acting than the newer insulins.

    • Yes, Walmart sells Regular (a short-ish acting insulin) and NPH, which is a long-ish acting insulin. The total active time for Regular is 4-6 hours. It takes 45-60 minutes to begin working. So meals need to be planned out and timed. No extra roll or deciding you’re full before you’ve finished your plate. NPH has an active time of 8-12 hours and it peaks much more seriously at around hour 6. The cycles of R and NPH require snacking and eating at precisely the same times each day. They carry a much higher risk of both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. $25 Walmart insulin can save your life, it is not providing as good quality of life as the newer analog insulin’s which have a rapid active time or an ultra long, smooth active time. Keep in mind, when the new analog insulin’s were introduced in the late 90s, they were $21. Making exclusive profit which funded R&D and lots of marketing and sales perks for doctors. It was profitable at $21. Taking US inflation into account that price would now be $34. It is $325 instead. The list prices are ludicrously high.

  • Kudos to the pilgrims to Canada. Very cool!

    However, it’s worth noting that if the FDA used its enforcement discretion, under Section 804J of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, to permit people to order insulin by mail from licensed pharmacies in Canada by using overnight mail services like Fed Ex, they would not have to travel. They should not have to travel!

    Gabriel Levitt
    Prescription Justice

  • Kind of tired of repeating myself.
    There are millions of people needing insulin. Instead of organizing buses, they should constitute a noprofit and outsource the production of insulin to specialized companies, and pay it at production cost. Insulin itself is not covered by patent.

  • This is ridiculous, it’s been this way since well before the 90’s.I was taking a drug that req’d a scrip in the US, I was in Mexico on vacation.
    I noticed it on the SHELF (OTC) for $2.50,here I had to have a scrip and it cost me $35.00.That was in 1989!.

    • You just proved the Govt is doing nothing. The cost of these drugs are getting outrageous. Drug companies are price gouging. If they can sell it so cheap all over the world, they can do the same here in the US but it will take legislation, which hasn’t been done.

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