+
Health

A new company is going to sell $30 vials of insulin. No insurance needed.

diabetes, insulin prices, civica rx

The price of insulin is sky high.

The price of insulin has skyrocketed over the past decade. In fact, per-person spending on insulin, for those with employer-paid health insurance, doubled between 2012 and 2016. Today, the average list price for a vial of insulin for people without health insurance is $300 and some people need six per month. For those with insurance, the cost of the copay can vary from $30 to $50 per vial (though that could be much higher for people on a high-deductible health plan).

In Canada, a vial of insulin costs $37.99.

More than 8 million Americans with diabetes depend on insulin to survive. The high cost of the drug has forced one in every four people with diabetes to ration or skip doses.

The factors involved in drug pricing can be complicated but it’s pretty clear that the cost of insulin is on the rise because pharmaceutical companies are able to charge what they like. America has very relaxed policies on drug pricing, compared to the rest of the world, so companies take full advantage. “They are doing it because they can,” Jing Luo, a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told Vox, “and it’s scary because it happens in all kinds of different drugs and drug classes.”

The cost of insulin has put such a strain on American families that the Biden administration placed a $35 cap on the drug in its Build Back Better bill. However, that bill is currently on hold in the Senate.


The good news is that for some Americans with diabetes, relief from high insulin prices may soon be in sight.

Earlier this month, Civica Rx, a nonprofit generic drug maker backed by hospitals, insurers and philanthropies, announced that it plans to manufacture and sell insulin for a maximum of $30 a vial. The company hopes the drug will be available at pharmacies as early as 2024. Before it makes it to market it must be approved by the FDA and Civica Rx has to finish constructing its 140,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Virginia.

The company predicts its products could make up around 30% of the U.S. insulin market.

"That's actually a fairly fast development time for a product like this,” said Civica’s Allan Coukell. “For Civica as a nonprofit, we're going to manufacture these insulins and sell them for close for what it costs us to make them - without any huge markup.”

The company says there’s also a plan to prevent any retail markups.

“We'll actually have a transparent pricing policy where we say nobody should pay more than—for example, for a vial, $30—at the pharmacy counter. And we're going to say that right on the vial: 'this is the maximum price anybody should pay' so that there's no downstream markups that unfairly target the consumer,” Coukell said.

It’s obscene that in the richest country in the world people are getting gouged for a product they need to stay alive. The price of insulin is a life-or-death issue and Civica Rx should be commended for stepping up and doing the work to help people struggling with diabetes while we wait for the government to act.

Pedro Pascal and Bowen Yang can't keep a straight face as Ego Nwodim tries to cut her steak.

Most episodes of “Saturday Night Live” are scheduled so the funnier bits go first and the riskier, oddball sketches appear towards the end, in case they have to be cut for time. But on the February 4 episode featuring host Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “The Last of Us”), the final sketch, “Lisa from Temecula,” was probably the most memorable of the night.

That’s high praise because it was a strong episode, with a funny “Last of Us” parody featuring the Super Mario Brothers and a sketch where Pascal played a protective mother.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Rusty Watson on Unsplash

A few simple tweaks to go from "Yuck!" to "Yum!"

Sure, you might find an adventurous 3-year-old who enjoys sushi and salads from time to time. But generally speaking, toddlers are notoriously picky eaters. If a meal strays even an inch beyond the comfort zone of french fries and grilled cheese, it’s a hard no. Followed by tears. Or maybe screaming. Or both.

However, Emma Hubbard, a pediatric occupational therapist, is convinced that even the finickiest kid can be coaxed into expanding their palate with just a few simple yet effective tweaks.

As Hubbard mentions in her video, new food isn’t just unpleasant for toddlers—it’s downright scary. “Toddlers have a genuine fear of trying new food,” she said, which explains why they have such a visceral fight-or-flight reaction and “become overwhelmed and run away, have a tantrum, or shut down.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Keanu Reeves shocks a small-town pub by stopping in for a pint and taking photos with the staff

“So today we had a surprise visitor for lunch. What a lovely man he was, too."

Keanu Reeves in São Paulo, Brazil, 2019.

Keanu Reeves has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s nicest celebrities. Recently, he cheered up an 80-year-old fan who had a crush on him by calling her on the phone. He’s also bought an ice cream cone for a fan to give an autograph on the receipt and crashed a wedding to take photos with the bride and groom.

He’s also an incredible humanitarian who gave up a big chunk of his money from "The Matrix" to a cancer charity.

The “John Wick” star was his usual gracious self over the weekend when on Saturday, February 4, he and a friend walked into The Robin Hood pub in Tring, Hertfordshire, about 30 miles outside of London.

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

She quit teaching, works at Costco, and has 'never been happier.' That says something.

Maggie Perkins' viral videos and unique perspective have ignited the conversation around teacher attrition.

Maggie Perkins doesn't miss having a winter break.

Maggie Perkins loves teaching, loves teachers and loves students. In fact, she loves them so much that working on her Ph.D. in Educational Theory and Practice. Her research is focused on teacher attrition, examining why quality, experienced teachers quit the profession—something she understands all too well since she recently became one of them.

The former educator now works at Costco and she says she's never been happier. Her migraines are gone. Her anxiety has improved. She sleeps through the night. As an entry-level employee, she makes less money than she did teaching, but not enough less to make a difference in her financial situation. She goes home from work happy at the end of the day.

Perkins has been sharing the contrast in working conditions between the classroom and Costco on her TikTok channel and it is eye-opening, to say the least.

Keep ReadingShow less
The Late Late Show with James Corden/Youtube

The instructors were ruthless.

If you’re not familiar with James Corden’s popular "Toddlerography" segment, you’re in for a treat.

As the name suggests, celebrity guests on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” take a dance class taught by kiddy instructors. Sure, the “students” are usually pretty seasoned performers, like Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, and Jason Derulo, but their experience doesn’t make learning the moves any less intense. Anyone who’s tried to keep pace with a toddler knows it’s a helluva workout.

Billy Porter was the latest guest invited to participate in this wholesome fitness trend, and he did not disappoint.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Freepik

A new mother struggling with postpartum depression.

We may be just months away from having the first-ever pill to help treat postpartum depression (PPD). The drug, called Zuranolone, was developed by Sage Therapeutics and Biogen, two companies out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The FDA has given the drug’s application priority review and the period ends on August 5, 2023.

Currently, there is only one FDA-approved medication for PPD, Zulresso, which is only available through a 60-hour, one-time infusion and can cost up to $35,000 per treatment.

If the medication is approved, it can also be used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD).

Keep ReadingShow less