Diabetic Groom-To-Be Dies After Taking Cheaper Insulin to Pay for Wedding
I am publishing this story to my blog in 2022, but it is from 2019. I don’t know how I overlooked this one.
This goes to show that even if you get married it’s not a guarantee it’s going to end well, work out well, or bring you happiness.
August 6, 2019
By Hannah Frishberg
The high price of medicine cost him his life.
When Josh Wilkerson turned 26, he aged out of his stepfather’s private health insurance and he was unable to afford his nearly $1,200-a-month insulin.
He began rationing his pricey prescription, before a doctor recommended taking ReliOn, an over-the-counter brand sold for $25 a vial at Walmart.
“It didn’t work for his body,” his mom, Erin Wilson-Weaver, tells The Post. Her son died June 14, and she’s still in mourning — but determined to advocate in his memory.
Known as “human insulin,” ReliOn requires more time to become effective than the “analogue” insulin that Wilkerson had previously been taking — but, at one-tenth of the price, it was more affordable for the northern Virginia dog kennel supervisor, who was earning $16.50 an hour.
“When it comes to type 1 diabetes, people are facing unthinkable decisions — between the costs of living and their very lives,” Wilson-Weaver writes in a post for a diabetes advocacy blog full of similar posts about those lost to Type 1 diabetes after being unable to afford insulin.
“We figured: Hey, it’s $25. We can do that, and we’ll just work with it and try to do the best we can,” Wilkerson’s fiancée, Rose Walters, 27, tells the Washington Post. Walters, also a Type 1 diabetic, began using the cheaper insulin as well last winter.
The pair also had to switch to an over-the-counter brand for their blood glucose meters to keep medical prices within their budget.