A 'caravan' of Americans is crossing the Canadian border to get affordable health care
A "caravan" of Americans battling with Type 1 diabetes crossed the United States border to head to Canada over the weekend. The group moved to the neighboring country in search of affordable medical care so that they could get the same life-saving drugs available in the US but at a significantly lower price.
Caravan member Quinn Nystrom shared the updates of her journey towards Canada on Twitter, writing: "We're on a #CaravanToCanada because the USA charges astronomical prices for insulin that most people can't afford."
Multiple people from Minnesota piled into cars on Friday to make the 600-mile journey from the Twin Cities to Fort Frances, Ontario. Nystrom, who was among the Minnesotans, said that they can purchase insulin in Ontario for a tenth of what it costs in the US. Patients of Type 1 Diabetes rely on insulin as a key hormone to regulate their blood glucose levels.
Reports state that the caravan was organized as part of a campaign launched under the banner "#insulin4all" to call on the American government to regulate the cost of life-saving drugs, including insulin.
The group called the cost of insulin in the US a "price crisis," and noted that the cost of insulin in America, since the mid-1990s, has skyrocketed more than 1,100 percent, according to data from Truven Health Analytics. The dramatic surge in the cost of insulin was noted despite the cost of production for a vial of analog insulin being less than $10.
Representative Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat who chairs the House Oversight Committee, recently ordered the release of a report which showed that millions of people in the US who rely on insulin pay up to 92 percent more for the medication when compared to patients in other countries, reports state.
Nystrom posted a picture of a Walgreens pharmacy store on her way to Canada, stating that the caravan "could've ended our #CaravanToCanada in 5 minutes, but unfortunately, they charge $300 for insulin. So, we will travel another 5 hours north so we will only have to pay $30 for a vial of insulin."
American lawmakers, particularly the Democratic presidential candidates, in recent weeks, have been drawing attention to the high costs of essential drugs in the United States as the issue has become a top concern for the voters in the country.