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Hartland family with 3 diabetic kids endures rising insulin prices

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The rising cost of insulin is now considered a serious health crisis, with Washington D.C. lawmakers pushing pharmaceutical companies to lower prices.

People with Type 1 diabetes need insulin to survive as the autoimmune disease has no cure.

In Hartland, Corinne Merten feels the financial squeeze buying insulin for her three children, Brayden, Jacob, and Grace, who all have Type 1 diabetes.

“It’s really not a choice,” Corinne said. “You can’t just stop.”

Corinne says the family’s made sacrifices over the years to pay for the drug.

“We get them in vials of insulin and depending on your plan, that vial can range from about $250 to $500,” she said. “You could use one to three vials a month so you can add up with the math. It’s thousands of dollars.”

A recent study from the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute found the price of insulin nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016.

Only three companies control 99 percent of the market, and no generic version of the drug exists.

One of those companies, Sanofi, plans to cap how much some patients have to pay.

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