My name is Robin Cressman and I am from Thousand Oaks, California. I have been interested in drug pricing advocacy for years because I have Type 1 Diabetes. Worrying about the price of insulin has proven to be a constant in my life. I was diagnosed in 2012, when I was single and working full time. Costs were significant, but I was more worried about my new diagnosis and what it would mean for my life than about the money.
In 2015, things quickly changed. I married my husband, changed careers, and ended up being added to his insurance as a dependent. Starting in 2016, we had a high deductible plan. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, we spent $7,000 each year on diabetes supplies. A vial of insulin was $250, a special pen was $350. I use Humalog and Lantus, and need both often. I ended up going deep into credit card and consumer debt. My insulin was simply unaffordable, and my stress over it became a formidable aspect of my life.
“I will not stop talking about this issue until the price of insulin in the US is affordable for all.”
- Robin Cressman
In 2018, I went to Tijuana, Mexico with a couple of friends. I stepped into a pharmacy to check out insulin costs, and was stunned to find out that a box of Lantus pens in Mexico was $52. Compared to the $700 per box that it costs in the US, the price in Mexico was much more manageable. Humalog was $13 a piece, and I bought 6 pens that day. That would have been over $2,000 in the US.
I was stunned. Just across the border, I could get my necessary, life-saving medications for a fraction of the cost. That is when I began my drug pricing advocacy journey, and I will not stop talking about this issue until the price of insulin in the United States is affordable for all.