NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Lala Jackson, 31, is among the estimated 1.25 million Americans who depend on insulin to treat their type 1 diabetes.
"It affects my relationships, it affects the jobs I can take, it affects where I get insurance from," Jackson said. "It affects my paycheck."
She said paycheck because the cost of her diabetes medication has risen dramatically since she was first diagnosed 21 years ago. Jackson said that back then a vial that would last her 9 to 10 days cost her mother $25.
A decade ago, she was without health insurance for 13 months. She had no choice but to ration her insulin.
"Well, first of all, I'd say that no one should have to ration insulin because of cost because it is such a tragedy," said Cynthia Rice, the senior vice president for advocacy and policy for JDRF. "It is so dangerous and we want to prevent anyone from having to do that."
Lucky today Jackson has what she says is a great insurance. If she did not have the insurance she has today, she said she would have had to pay $32,000 last year for insulin and everything else she needs.
The price of insulin has tripled over the last decade, according to JDRF, an organization funding type 1 diabetes research.
"There really are too many factors when it comes to the high costs of insulin," Rice said.
One reason is the rebates that are rising are "driving up the price of insulin and second that insurance is paying less and less of the cost," she said.
We reached out the three insulin makers.
Novo Nordisk was the only one to respond. The company said that price increases were the response to changes in the healthcare system, including a greater focus on cost savings, and trying to keep up with inflation.
"Our recent price increases have been within our 2016 commitment to keep annual list price increases below 10 percent," Novo Nordisk told Fox 5 in a statement. It also said it will take action to make sure its medications remain affordable.
Meanwhile, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association sent Fox 5 News the following statement: "Among insulin products ranked within the top 200 brand drugs, there is no correlation between the growing prices set by drugmakers and the rebates they negotiate with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs)."
Human insulin is available for about $25 a vial at some pharmacies.