A cure would be too expensive for all those cashing in on this disease

By fatdad94 Latest Reply 2012-03-13 11:41:36 -0500
Started 2012-02-23 20:01:26 -0600

The Money Disease
There is a thing, we will never see, A diabetes cure, for you, and for me,
If one were found, it would be hid, The costs of it, would be forbid.
Insulin, Needles, swabs you use, Pumps, and meters, blood and bruise,
All the gear, you can see, To test your blood, for A1C.
Companies on the internet, Bleeding Medicare asset,
Doctors, Pharmacies, Labs and more, Cashing in, on the rapport.
Millions afflicted, by this disease, But money outweighs, the patients’ needs,
So if you are stricken, with this dismay, You’ll live with it, unto your last day.
And so unto you, my infirmed friend, A simple prayer, may I append,
May his love for you, entwine, embrace, And bless you with, His divine

Tags: diabetes

52 replies

Nick1962 2012-02-28 12:01:00 -0600 Report

I’ve been following this and find the division between conspiracy and non-conspiracy rather interesting (you sure know how to pick a topic there fatdad). For the sake of discussion, let’s try a real world scenario.
Let’s say there is a cure – a good solid one where all that was required is a person get immunized before a certain age and they could be D free for life. A longshot for sure, but it has happened. Bear in mind less than 9% of the US population is diabetic, so the initial cure would rake in billions for drug companies to treat our entire population as a preventative measure. It would take at least a generation (20-25 years) to totally wipe it out given all those now existing. So yes, over the following generation, drug and supply sales would slowly decrease, but we would still have to administer the “cure” to all the new arrivals on our planet, which is 1.2% or about 4 million folks. Yes, you’ve cured 25.8 million over 20-25 years, but you still need to treat 4 million annually. Yes, it would make a dent in a company’s pocket, but not for a while.

But what happens to those who are cured, or will never be at risk of getting it. I know personally I had to make some serious changes. These changes really took money away from “big fast food”, some away from “big pharma” because I dropped my blood pressure and cholesterol meds considerably, a good deal from “big recycling” because I don’t eat pre-packaged foods or soft drinks, and “big med” because I’m rarely sick anymore and my health risks are lessened. No doubt my being “cured” has taken a lot of money from many interests, and given it to many countries globally who grow the fruits and vegetables I consume regularly. But the funny thing is, I’m healthier WITH diabetes than I was WITHOUT. And I’ll bet many here can say the same.

So what would happen if there were no risk the population could get diabetes? Would they continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Probably not – I know I’d just keep following my fat, happy, self-destructive path to an early grave. Chances are many would follow suit and diseases like heart failure, obesity, cancer (from food additives) would continue to rise. And really, there is a limit to how badly you can treat a liver or pancreas, so we’d maybe wipeout diabetes, but it’d be replaced by something equally as damaging.

dietcherry 2012-02-28 12:11:44 -0600 Report

To me the bone of contention is the fact that our meds are so expensive…and the price continues to increase!
When I became T1 in 1981, a vial of beef/pork insulin was $11. Now my insulin is $50 a vial, and is synthetic. Now I know there is inflation to consider, but in my mind Im thinking the synthetic version is cheaper for Pharma to produce then having to remove insulin from the pancreas' of pigs and cows. But I really dont know so no one quote me on that please!
A lot of us feel that we are being exploited because I, unlike you Nick, must have insulin to survive—no 2 ways about that. Prescription meds and their patents are lucrative for Pharma!

PS I edited this to include that my insulin doesnt require a prescription; a vials' recommended use, once opened, is 30 days. It can be used beyond this, however potency begins to drop off. Also it cant be frozen or get above 78 degrees, or it is ruined.

hannelou 2012-02-28 17:56:08 -0600 Report

for what it's worth , I am in Great Britain and don't pay for medecines…however the national health pays for them . we always have old stuff , for instance the lantus solar star was started here in january 2012…prior to that I was using the lantus optiset .

jayabee52 2012-03-06 06:30:41 -0600 Report

OH yes you DO in GB pay for it. Scroll down further and read Nick1962's reply to Cavie2's similar assertion. The only thing I would add to Nick's statement there is in the socialized medicine nations people pay for their care through rationing of care. The "old stuff" you mention is part of the rationing of care.

We here in the USA are headed in the same direction as GB and unless that direction is changed, we will be right there with you in a few years.

It is definitely a matter of opinion which system is better. If you are a person suffering with a heart problem, rationing (postponing treatment) could be deadly!

Nick1962 2012-02-28 14:00:40 -0600 Report

First and foremost let me say that I hope a cure, or at least a less costly treatment alternative is available for exactly people like you. I can certainly understand your feelings of being exploited because you are after all a captive to the system through no fault of your own. Do I agree that diabetics are being taken advantage of medically? Yes, but to a point. In general, anything we NEED to survive is going to have a high price, but I think if there were a case of actually gouging, we would have seen some class action lawsuits by now.
Drug prices (like everything) have indeed skyrocketed. The low dose BP/chol med I currently take is $129/30 days and that’s a generic. The brand name is double that.
Adjusting for inflation, the increase of your penicillin is high, but bear in mind the amount of R&D that has gone into the synthetic (which may explain some of the increase), and the compounds used in it may not be any less difficult to obtain. Much of this R&D is done by private research funded by endowments, or medical universities and research companies funded by government grants, and these folks need to be paid too. Not all R&D is by pharmaceutical companies. In the end, the product may be simpler to manufacture, but the reason it’s used may be because it’s more stable, or less “contaminated” due to the amounts of pesticides we now use which animals consume. Beef/pork may not be a viable quality source any longer.
Again, I hope there is a cure and soon, but to assume that a whole industry either is or will withhold a known cure would be exposed fairly quickly.

dietcherry 2012-02-28 14:07:58 -0600 Report

Im not of the conspiracy theory myself Im more practical in that, prices need to be lowered or at the very least, kept stable and affordable :)

Nick1962 2012-02-28 14:46:37 -0600 Report

Oh I can’t disagree with that, but I also know that some of that “profit” goes into funding for R&D like Islet Replacement as well. There is also the research that suggests inserting a chromosome may be able to “wake up” the non-producing liver cells that were once thought dead but possibly just dormant. So yes, you are a guinea pig of some sort to fund research through your drugs.
I used to be a marrow donor, and hopefully Islet therapy will pan out, in which case I will be happy to give you all the islets I can. :)

Nick1962 2012-02-29 17:34:24 -0600 Report

Not sure. I'm B- but your welcome to what I have if it doesn't (may cause you ro grow facial hair though).

Nick1962 2012-02-29 20:01:00 -0600 Report

hey, you never know what effects donor stuff may have. just sayin' the insulin production may have side effects.

MrsCDogg 2012-02-28 08:34:52 -0600 Report

So very true! It's the same with any other "big" disease. Heart disease, cancer of any kind, fatness. If any of these diseases were ever "cured" all of those businesses surrounding them would be out of business!! I know I will make some people mad with what I am about to say but here goes…All of these so called foundations which raise money for "awareness" and cures with their walks and other organized activities are only interested in keeping those organizations up and running! That is my opinon and that's all!

jlively1 2012-02-27 22:12:39 -0600 Report

So true with all types of diseases. The drug companies and the nonprofits don't want a cure. There's more money to be made with the treatments of disease, not a cure. It's a conspiracy.

roshy 2012-02-27 11:39:12 -0600 Report

i think the disease costs too much to be honest!! it floods our hospitals and health services, i read the other day that test strips alone cost the NHS ten million punds a year!!! imagine what use that money could have gone towards. . . . How ever there is millions or research out there at the moment that searching for a cure, whether its stem cells or transplants, i think its important to look towards a positive future when regarding this disease, look how far science and medicine has brought us. . . . . keep your chin up dude : . )

carolynrm52 2012-02-25 12:17:58 -0600 Report

Hello, I just wanted to add my input to this interesting discussion. I was diagnosed two years ago with T2. Within a few months, I began a whole foods, plant based diet and have reversed (or controlled; it's a matter of semantics to me) my diabetes through diet and exercise (diet is most important). There is much information in the literature about how to do this. Go to http://www.drmcdougall.com/ and read Dr. John McDougall's take on diabetes. Another great resource is Dr. Neal Barnard, who wrote Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes. The movie "Forks Over Knives", which is available on DVD or streaming on Netflix, is very informative and entertaining.

Many people think that eating this way is restrictive or difficult. I have to say that I LOVE eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. I do not miss meat, eggs, or dairy. Please do yourself a favor and research this. I have never had to take any diabetic medications, but many people who have taken them have been able to greatly reduce or eliminate their need for medications. It is very possible; you just need to give it a try. On Dr. McDougall's website, you will read many stories of people who have changed their lives by eating this way. I have never felt better. Oh, and as a bonus, for the first time in my life I never have to worry about my weight. I have lost 40 pounds, I eat whenever I am hungry, and never weigh or measure foods, or count carbs.

Nick1962 2012-02-25 15:58:53 -0600 Report

Congratulations Carolyn and nice work! I also drasticaly changed my diet to a more whole food diet and have reversed (my doctor uses the term "dissolved") my condition. We are working on trying to do away with testing now, but I have to be very strict. If I can go in to my PCP with an A1c of 4.9 or lower again I may be able to get away with just monthly testing.

kdroberts 2012-02-24 19:46:02 -0600 Report

Why do you think there would be no money made in a cure? Lets just say a cure cost $1000, which is far less than the average yearly spend on a diabetic. With the amount of diabetics in the world now that gives the company a $285billion market right off the bat. With the estimated 10 million new cases a year that would still happen, they have a $10billion a year money stream. no pharmaceutical company in their right mind would pass that up and the likelihood of a cure only costing $1000 initially is low, those figures could well be double, triple or even 10-20 times as much.

fatdad94 2012-02-25 06:14:11 -0600 Report

Where do you buy your insulin and equipment? I need to know how to spend less than $1000/yr.

kdroberts 2012-02-25 06:35:22 -0600 Report

I am getting free apidra until April from the program the manufacturer is running on vials. When that expires I'll pay $60 for 90 days. My supplies are no cost via a program I participate in through my insurance. Last year I paid full price for everything until I reached my deductible, probably $2000-2500 in the first 8 months, and then 20-30% of the cost after that. I had to go through Medco.

fatdad94 2012-02-25 07:49:40 -0600 Report

I see more that $1000/yr without insurance. I spend almost that every month with insurance. Many have no insurance at all. If you multiply $12,000. yr times the number of diabetics - WOW! More money in not providing a cure. In the 50s we lived in a world where people wanted to help other people, they were curteous, they drove like they were on the road with their neighbors, etc. Those days are gone!!! Kids carry guns to school, drugs run rampant in even the smallest to country towns, and business is in business for one thing and that isn't to help the poor and infirmed, it's money! Sell diabetic medicines and supplies - Yes!!! Sell a cure to people who cant afford to pay for it - NO!!!!!

kdroberts 2012-02-25 08:25:28 -0600 Report

$12,000 a year is a lot, but there are many diabetics that cost a couple of hundred dollars a year in doctor visits only. And that's just in the US, other countries spend considerably less per person.

roshy 2012-02-27 11:42:49 -0600 Report

in the US, are type ones not intitled to insulin and medical equipment which is funded by the state? do you have to fund for your own test strips and syringes and pumps??

kdroberts 2012-02-27 13:16:10 -0600 Report

If you are eligible for a state or federal program, insulin, needles, a limited amount of test supplies and possibly (but unlikely) pump supplies would be covered partially. Most people are not eligible for those programs though, mostly the over 65 and people who are very low income. If you don't qualify you pay for everything, if you can.

Nick1962 2012-02-27 12:20:21 -0600 Report

It depends on your age, income, and insurance plan. It can be very complicated to get "free" medical anything, and you usually have to apply every year for it.
We do have some "free" medical which is stuff like polio, rubella, and mumps vaccines for school kids, but that is in the interest of public health.

roshy 2012-03-05 12:01:37 -0600 Report

Holy Moses!!!! within my suituation, living in Ireland with type one, i am recieving free test strips, supplies for my pump and my pump, insulin meters and other nassesities such as glucogen needles.
so its unlikely in the state of the US you will access a pump, what about children, do parents have to fund for a pump and supplies for the child??

Nick1962 2012-03-05 14:04:04 -0600 Report

Actually Roshy, you do pay for it. You have socialized medicine in Ireland and all that money spent by the government comes from your taxes. Also, businesses pay into that fund, so the same job here may have a lower wage where you are to cover the costs. Basically, here we decide how much of our wages go to our medical care. It’s really just a question of when you pay it.
On the home page here you will see a poll result (on the right hand side of the page) showing on average how much we pay for diabetes care.
Here, it depends a great deal on your insurance coverage (if you have it). I have very good insurance because my wife works for a pharmaceutical company. We pay a monthly premium of about $200 which insures us against anything huge like a crippling accident. Depending on what we need, some things are paid for by insurance in full, others at 80% and some not at all. The most we have to pay for everything together is $4000. After that, most everything is picked up by the insurance company, but drugs and testing supplies I still have to pay 20% of. Confusing I know, but it was designed to keep people from taking advantage of the system.
For example, my combo blood pressure/cholesterol medication runs about $129/month for the generic brand. If I want to take the brand name drug, it’s double that. My insurance will pay for the generic in full, but not the brand name.
Some drug companies will give you free or discounted products as part of a program, and there are other forms of financial assistance, so no one is really left "out in the cold" if the work for it, but yes there are some who have to decide between test strips and food.

roshy 2012-03-13 11:41:36 -0500 Report

AHHHHH!! the penny has dropped!! i understand where your coming from now!! Thanks Nicki for clearing that up!

jayabee52 2012-02-24 07:43:59 -0600 Report

Howdy Norm, WELCOME to DiabeticConnect.

I can see your point, Norm, but I am sorry I don't quite agree with your assessment.

You are essentially saying that there is a conspiricy between Big Pharma, Big Insurance, and the medical establishment to withhold a cure of diabetes. Is that true, or am I putting words in your mouth? If I am doing that, please correct me. I want to understand your point.

I've heard about the so-called "Nigerian Cure" and I tried to track it to its source and there is no solid evidence that there ever WAS a nigerian cure. And as nigeria seems to be a source of neverending scams and scammers, I suspect this "cure" was perhaps a scam too.

There are those who claim they have the cure, but when they are questioned about it, their "cures" are basically maintaining one's control of diabetes for the rest of one's life. By THEIR definition of a cure I have "cured" myself because I use no diabetes meds to manage my diabetes.

However if I deviate from my rather extreme meal plan (very low carb/high protein), my BGs rise and diabetes lets me know it is not gone, just has been managed by me to put it to sleep.

But I am a T2 and my need for diabetes meds are minimal as my pancreas is putting out enough of my own insulin to cover my needs for the limited amount of carbs that I eat. Not everyone is so fortunate and blessed as I. Other T2s are not quite so fortunate. They must take diebetes meds and some or them take a lot of insulin to maintain life.

And that does not consider the T1s who NEED insulin to survive. Or the 1.5s (LADAs) who eventually also need insulin to survive.

Will there ever be a cure for any of us much less ALL of us? I don't know. All I can do is pray to the Almighty that there will be one for us in this life and world. If it would come in my lifetime that would be great. Of course, according to my faith there is a cure for ALL our diseases and maladies in heaven, but that is my faith.

I had a wife for a few months (she died about 37 months after I met her online) who had multiple "medical challenges" which the Drs could control but not cure.
Her Drs loved her (she was that kind of person) as did I and many other persons. Not one of her Drs could cure her. They could alleviate her symptoms, but not take the underlying "challenge" away. I think that if her Drs HAD a cure for any of her "medical challenges" she is one they would have tried to give it.

Perhaps that is what differentiates man from God. There are some Drs who may THINK they're Gods, but their "cures" (and the unintended consequenses of those "cures") show them that they are not ready for the God business yet. Perhaps that is why there may never be a cure this side of heaven.

I am open to discussion about this, but just because I am open doesn't mean that my mind is so open that my brains are in danger of falling out! LoL!

I pray God's richest blessings upon you and yours


James Baker

fatdad94 2012-02-24 08:25:48 -0600 Report

James all I saying is look around you. How much money is being made off diabetes medicine and equipment. Years ago a man in mechanics illustrated publiched an article where he had fabricated a miniture copy of a DeLaval oil purifier for you car. It would cost then about $100 probably $500 today. But it would keep your oil perfectly clean where only replacement oil for leaks needed top be added. Did you ever see one? No, big oil companies bought it up so it would never see the market place. If you think majoror pharmacutacals are going to release something that removes the market for dibetes supplies you are sorely mistaken. It will not happen. Therefore I ask the good Lord to help those of us afflicted with thie terribla disease and hopr education might help future generations to reduce theri chance of having it.
Your friend,
Norm Stevens

Nick1962 2012-02-24 10:14:18 -0600 Report

All due respect, my wife works for “Big Pharma” and even though diabetic drugs and supplies are a 92 billion dollar plus a year market, losing it would not shut down “Big Pharma”. It is only 8.3% of the US population after all. Like James, I am part of the lucky 16% who manage without medication. Of the remaining 84%, a good majority will always require medication, so the need would never be eliminated. However, to play devil’s advocate, let’s assume that like Polio, it could be eliminated in the western world. How much do you think “Big Pharma” would stand to gain by a vaccine that would be administered to the whole population versus just 8.3%? Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin made a lot of people wealthy, yet even still, countries like Africa and Asia continue to battle polio because they could not afford to immunize their whole populations like the U.S. has.
Do I believe there is profiteering happening among the diabetic population? Yes. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I do believe people are being put on many medications needlessly. However, there are also those cannot or will not manage their condition for a variety of reasons, and like Africa and Asia will always need medical help with it.
Trust me, if “Big Pharma” lost 8.3% of their business, they’re would be plenty of other markets to make it up on.

fatdad94 2012-02-25 10:21:28 -0600 Report

Nick, I have to say I agree with you but let's reflect. In the fiftys television and radio advertisements were for beer, alcohal, and cigarettes. Everyone smoked even Ronnie Regan who sold Chesterfields. Now ads are insurance and medicines. Tell me where the market is.

Nick1962 2012-02-25 15:50:52 -0600 Report

Oh I totally agree there is a drug market. But I believe that is mainly a result of our current instant gratification society. It wasn't long ago that if you were sick, you stayed home sometimes 3 days with the flu. Now that wouldn't even be considered - get me well NOW is the cry. A little stuffy nose and there's a pill, can't have "relations" and there's a pill. Overweight - take a pill. We stopped caring for ourselves properly long ago, and yes, the medical and pharmaceutical groups are cashing in. With your original post in mind, our lack of self-care is what gets us diabetes more often now to begin with. Again, to play the other side, are there doctors who once they diagnose a patient simply hand them a meter, some Metformin and say see you in six months rather than educating the patient to get results like myself and Carolyn and James (and others)? Probably, but I don't think it's an act of conspiracy.
Thanks for the interesting dialogue!

jigsaw 2012-02-27 17:43:20 -0600 Report

Who knows, maybe they'll come out with a pill that we can give our doctors that will make them give us some real medical help beyond a pill. Wouldn't it be nice if things reversed? You give your doc a pill instead of the other way around. I just had to look at the lighter side as usual. It really is depressing and terrible for many people!

jigsaw 2012-02-27 18:21:39 -0600 Report

You definitely would not lose money! Detail men (pharmaceutical guys) would start coming to your home with free samples. Then they would bribe you to give the (super med advice pills) to your doc. Isn't that a bit like the way it works in reverse?

jayabee52 2012-02-25 10:31:06 -0600 Report

Norm, those ads would STILL be playing for the alcohol, cigarettes except the "Nanny state" has determined they're not good for us (I agree) so those manufacturers are PROHIBITED from advertising (contrary to the 1st amendment) So your point would be valid IF that prohibition were not in place. (don't want to get into a political discussion — this is really not the place for it. If you really want to get into it, inbox me please.)

Nick1962 2012-02-24 17:58:23 -0600 Report

Thanks. If you want a real conspiracy, look at the food industry. It would kill them if we all ate properly.

jayabee52 2012-02-24 08:38:48 -0600 Report

I understand what you're saying Norm, thanks for clarifying your point to me.

I see your point that it is not in the self-interest of Big Pharma to release a cure, if there is one, to the people with diabetes. I am however agnostic about the existence of a cure. I suspect that one does not exist, but I don't know that for sure.

We each can hold our respective beliefs and still be friends. That is part of what makes this site so wonderful, and BTW thanks for being my friend!


Anonymous 2012-02-25 15:32:20 -0600 Report

James maybe the big guy upstairs has upstairs has a cure we will all receive when we go to live with him. Let's pray he does.

jayabee52 2012-02-27 17:30:02 -0600 Report

My late wife "Jem" is already there.

She had many serious and sometimes painful related conditions to heart, lungs, kidneys, joints. She also was totally blind from the tender age of 14. One of the first things I realized when it dawned on me she was dead, I thought "She can now see!" with bittersweet tears of joy and sorrow mingled. I believe what the Bible says about what will be in heaven Rev 21:4 & 5 specifically but it is in other places throughout the Bible!

Susanbut170@yahoo.com 2012-02-27 18:09:05 -0600 Report

Hi Iames, my name is Susan, I want to first say that I am sorry for your loss, I liked the fact that your faith is so strong, I just wanted to share with you something that I too had experienced while being diagonsed with T2 in 1996, I was overweight and my blood sugars were running very high. I was at a weight of 375, and then Dr., put me a low carb diet and no meds, she told me to loose the weight and then she could run more test to see if the that would help improve my readings, which I mangage to loose 168 lbs in 12 months. Now 16 years later, I am still maintaining good glucose levels without meds, I continue to eat high fiber, low carbs and drink plenty of water, as well as excercise, this all combined has helped me feel better and control my weight. I believe that God did heal me, the doctors tell me that I am not daibetic and my numbers are normal, with the last test for my over all was at 4.6 this was for the past 6 months, so I know God can heal, and I am certain that he did heal me. I enjoyed reading what you had to say, this was interesting to me as well, and again I am sorry for the loss of your wife. You have some great ideas, perhaps you have inspired allot of people, I know you did me!

God Bless and take Care,
Susan B.

jayabee52 2012-02-28 14:13:40 -0600 Report

Thanks for those most kind words, my friend Susan! That was an impressive loss of weight! I pray you continue to maintain your weight loss and the control of your diabetes.

My numbers are at the normal levels too, but I do not think I am over diabetes.
I believe it will be with me for the remainder of my life. All I need do to confirm that is to vary from my eating regimen and my BGs go wacky!

Blesssings to you and yours Susan B!

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