A Minnesota mother is advocating for lower insulin prices after she said her 26-year-old son died because he couldn’t afford the cost.
Nicole Smith-Holt told CBS News in a report published on Friday that her son, Alec, was a Type 1 diabetic, which meant he needed to take daily doses of insulin in order to survive.
But when he turned 26, his monthly payment reportedly skyrocketed to $1,300 because the drug could no longer be covered by his parents’ insurance.
That’s when Smith-Holt said her son, without her knowledge, began to ration his insulin to get by.
Shortly after, she said, her son fell into a diabetic coma while he was alone in his apartment and later died.
"My son died because he could not afford his insulin," Smith-Holt told the publication.
"Nobody to be there with him, to hold his hand or to call for help … and then I think about if he had never moved out, if he had lived at home, somebody would've, you know, seen the signs," Smith-Holt continued. "And I'll probably feel guilty every day for the rest of my life."
Now, Smith-Holt said she is turning her grief for her son into action by “fighting for the lives of others.”
The cost for insulin has reportedly tripled from 2002 and 2013, and three of the country's drugmakers have raised its price at least 10 times since 2008.
Last October, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson (D) filed a lawsuit against three top insulin manufacturers — Sanofi-Aventis, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Co. — for what she called “deceptive and misleading” price increases for insulin.
“Insulin is a life-or-death drug for people with diabetes,” Swanson said in a statement at the time. “Many people can’t afford the price hikes but can’t afford to stop taking the medication either.”
However, despite pressure from President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE and other lawmakers to reduce drug prices, drugmakers also kicked off 2019 with a string of price hikes on New Year’s Day that reportedly affected more 1,000 medications.