Wednesday February 26, 2020

Americans Arrive in Canada Seeking Affordable Prices for Insulin

Caravan to Canada trekked across the border in May for the same reason

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Americans, Canada, Insulin
Advocates from the United States exit a Canadian pharmacy after purchasing lower-cost insulin in London, Ontario, June 29, 2019. A self-declared "car. VOA

A self-declared “caravan” of Americans bused across the Canada-U.S. border on Saturday, seeking affordable prices for insulin and raising awareness of “the insulin price crisis” in the United States.

The group called Caravan to Canada started the journey from Minneapolis, Minn., on Friday and stopped at London, Ontario, on Saturday to purchase lifesaving type 1 diabetes medication at a pharmacy.

About 20 people made the trip, according to Nicole Smith-Holt, a member of the group. Smith-Holt said her 26-year-old son died in June 2017 because he was forced to ration costly insulin.

Caravan to Canada trekked across the border in May for the same reason, and Smith-Holt was on that trip, too. She said the previous group was smaller than this week’s group. Americans have gone to countries like Mexico and Canada for more affordable medications in the past and continue to do so, she added.

Americans, Canada, Insulin
U.S. residents get set to depart a Canadian pharmacy after purchasing lower-cost insulin in London, Ontario, June 29, 2019. VOA

‘Resurgence’ in visitors

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported in May that Canadian pharmacists have seen a “quiet resurgence” in Americans coming to Canada looking for cheaper pharmaceuticals.

Insulin prices in the United States nearly doubled to an average annual cost of $5,705 in 2016 from $2,864 in 2012, according to a study in January.

While not everyone purchased the same amount of insulin, Smith-Holt said most people were saving around $3,000 for three months’ worth of insulin, and as a whole the group was saving around $15,000 to $20,000.

Prescriptions for insulin are not required in Canadian pharmacies Smith-Holt said, but the caravan has them so they can prove to the border patrol they are not intending to resell them when returning to the United States.

T1International, a nonprofit that advocates for increased access to type 1 diabetes medication, has described the situation in U.S. as an insulin crisis. Quinn Nystrom, a leader of T1International’s Minnesota chapter, said on May via Twitter that the price of insulin in the United States per vial was $320, while in Canada the same medication under a different name was $30.

“We know that many people couldn’t make this trip because they cannot afford the costs associated with traveling to another country to buy insulin there,” Elizabeth Pfiester, executive director of T1International, said in a press release.

Banting House

Americans, Canada, Insulin
Smith-Holt said her 26-year-old son died in June 2017 because he was forced to ration costly insulin. Pixabay

An itinerary said the caravan planned to stop at the Banting House in London later in the day. The Banting House is where Canadian physician and scientist Frederick Banting, who discovered insulin, lived from 1920 to 1921, and the building is called the “birthplace of insulin,” according to the Banting House website.

Also Read- Thousands March in Madrid to Ditch Traffic Restrictions Set Up to Improve Air Quality

Smith-Holt said the group was not currently planning any future trips, but they could be organized in the near future depending on need. She hopes for long-term solutions in the United States like price caps, anti-gouging laws, patent reform and transparency from pharmaceutical companies. (VOA)

Next Story

Giving Back: Here’s How to Help Those In Need After Natural Disasters

Te aftermath of Natural Disasters is the worst. People lose property and life and that is why you need to help them out

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Natural disasters
A new poll revealed that nearly three-quarters of Americans see natural disasters worsening as time goes on and those surveyed feel that it’s due to global warming. Pixabay

How many times have you been sitting in front of the TV watching your favorite show and then all of a sudden, it interrupted by a “Breaking News” story? Within the past year, it’s happened all too often… 

“Massive tsunami strikes Hawaii leaving 57 dead and the number is steadily rising” 

Or

“Hurricane Shawn continues to wreak havoc in the Carribean, leaving millions of natives homeless”

We’ve all seen these types of “Breaking News” stories and felt so much empathy and sympathy for those affected by those natural disasters, yet we sit warm and cozy on our comfortable couches just shaking our heads in disbelief. 

It’s tough seeing lives lost due to natural disasters but unfortunately, these things happen all the time. A new poll revealed that nearly three-quarters of Americans see natural disasters worsening as time goes on and those surveyed feel that it’s due to global warming…

As you watch the news and see the millions of families walking around in despair, you feel compelled to help them… So what do you do? You grab an old box and start loading it with clothes you don’t wear anymore and shoes you no longer can fit. In your mind, you’re thinking you’re doing the right thing and helping but in doing that, you’re actually not helping at all… you’re actually making things harder for relief workers.

Natural disasters
Donating clothes and cell phones can be helpful for people who have suffered from natural disasters. Pixabay

There is this thing called the “disaster after the disaster” and this is when post-disaster donations become so overwhelming that they become more of a burden than a help, more so because people donate things that can’t be used, according to npr.org

In an effort to help, people will go in their pantries and grab canned goods and other non-perishable items that have expired or foods that have already been opened… those are items that are being donated to those in need and those are also items that pose health risks and cannot be given to anyone. So relief workers then have to sort through those and dispose of them, taking them away from helping the families in need.

If you feel compelled to help, please do! Families are still trying to recover from natural disasters that have long gone and they need everyone’s help. But if you want to donate, first take a look at the items that will be most beneficial to those in need.

How to Help Those in Need

Host a Community Food Drive

When natural disasters strike an area, the families affected have lost everything they owned and one of the best ways you can help them is to host a food drive. You want to send non-perishable items like canned goods, dried goods, bottled water, dehydrated foods, and even water filters. When donating these items also be sure to check the dates on them… just because non-perishable foods have a longer shelf life, doesn’t mean they don’t have an expiration date.

Get with your local churches and businesses to see about coordinating a drive. Once you have all donated items, you can package everything up and deliver it to larger organizations that can have the packages delivered to the areas that need help.

Donate Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning supplies is something that not too many people think about when it comes to helping with natural disasters but what people forget is that some homes are actually able to be salvaged with a little elbow grease and cleaning supplies. Things like gloves, masks, bleach, and paper towels and rags are going to go a long way for those who can salvage their home.

For those affected, you have to remember, a major part of a new start is also a clean one.

Money natural disasters
Monetary donations are always going to be the best way to help those in need after natural disasters. Pixabay

Donate Cell Phones

You’re probably thinking, what is a cell phone going to do during this time? Well, what you don’t know is that donating cell phones is going to help those in need tremendously. When a lot of these natural disasters hit, cell phones are the last things on their minds… their main concern is to stay alive!

By donating cell phones, they will at least have a device to use once they get back on their feet and won’t have to buy one. If you hadn’t noticed, cell phones are very expensive, so imagine the financial relief you’ll be providing them by donating a cell phone. 

Maybe you have a few extra cell phones at home and if you don’t, you can buy pre-owned cell phones that will give those affected a way to communicate with their loved ones to let them know they’re okay. The thing about pre-owned cell phones is that they’re in great condition and they’re reasonably priced.

Consider getting with your local churches, businesses, and non-profit organizations to host a cell phone drive. For reasonably priced pre-owned cell phones, visit glyde.com/buy

Also Read- How Residential Proxies Work?

Donate Money

Monetary donations are always going to be the best way to help. Organizations like the American Red Cross and Save the Children are always accepting monetary donations to put towards families in need after natural disasters. Check with your local non-profit organizations to see how you can help those in need.