Submitted By Sen. Antonio Hayes, John Bullock, and Leon Pinkett

Every year an estimated 28,000 people in Maryland are diagnosed with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The price of diabetes costs an estimated $7 billion in Maryland each year.

While diabetes is on the rise all over the country, it doesn’t impact every person the same. This silent killer disproportionately affects people of color. African Americans are 50 percent more likely to have diabetes than whites and three times more likely to have diabetes-related amputations.

It is critical that people manage their diabetes very carefully. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious complications such as heart disease, amputations, stroke, end-stage kidney disease, and death.

People with diabetes have medical expenses approximately 2.3 times higher than those without diabetes, according to the ADA. The scariest part? The medical expenses related to diabetes management often make people choose between their health and their financial security.

When bills become too costly to manage, patients sometimes will try to ration their insulin to stretch it out longer. This leads to a variety of dangers, such as blindness, loss of limbs, kidney failure, and even death. Studies have shown the best way to manage and live with diabetes is with strict medication adherence plans.

In recent years, we’ve learned firsthand the impact health issues have on our constituents and our state and city budgets. We are committed to identifying more solutions to help our most vulnerable citizens.

Last Fall, Eli Lilly & Company launched a multifaceted approach to help connect diabetes patients with the medication they so desperately need. The Lilly Diabetes Solution Center offers insulin affordability assistance for patients who need help paying for insulin. If you are in the deductible phase of a high deductible insurance plan, have a lower income, or are uninsured, the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center helpline can offer a range of solutions including point-of-sale savings, counsel on accessing insulin through free clinics, and support for immediate needs. For more information on the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center, please call 833-808-1234 or visit insulinaffordability.com/solutions.

We applaud Eli Lilly for taking action to support those who need assistance managing their diabetes and look forward to seeing other innovative solutions emerge as we continue to tackle the cost of healthcare in Maryland.

Senator Antonio Hayes Maryland State Senate District 40; John Bullock Baltimore City Council District 9; Leon Pinkett Baltimore City Council District 7.

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