Some of the most well-known diabetes organizations across the country have spoken out in support of this move by Walmart to make a low-cost insulin accessible to more people. For example, both the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) have applauded Walmart for offering this effective and cheap insulin option.
Many of these groups have been advocating for more affordability and view this as a positive change for reducing the out-of-pocket cost for many people who are buying their own insulin. These groups are also vocal in stating that this is not the end of the battle and there are still major strides to be made in terms of making diabetes treatment affordable for everyone.
However, more progressive grassroots advocacy groups are criticizing Walmart for using lifesaving healthcare as a publicity grab to promote the image of the company. These diabetic advocacy groups criticize Walmart for not adding analog insulin to their ReliOn lineup until they needed good publicity.
Others are concerned that even with these savings on name brand prices, the cost is too expensive for many people to afford. For example, the UK-based diabetic advocacy group T1International says, “It will not stop needless deaths from rationing, because the cost is still far too high”.
The #insulin4all movement was started in response to the increasing number of cases where people have died due to being unable to afford their insulin for diabetics. The ReliOn insulin product helps a bit, but it does not solve the problem for everyone who is struggling to pay for their insulin and still afford to live each month.
Some people claim that this announcement is a small solution for a large problem and that it does not make an impact when people are still deciding between paying for rent/food or their insulin. Even insulin manufacturers believe that there is more work to be done in making insulin affordable for everybody who needs it.
Progress is being made, although it is happening at a slow pace. Some states have been making efforts to improve emergency access to insulin and cap insulin copays for some people who are covered by state-run health insurance plans. There are also several different emergency services for people who are direly in need of financial assistance to afford their medications.
Tip: If you are struggling to pay for your insulin, check to see if you apply for emergency financial assistance for your medication.