The Cost of Politicizing Insulin

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“ …is insulin a right? Or is it a privilege? In my opinion, and for the Canadian scientists who discovered insulin, it is a right. “

In this week's episode we will be speaking with Dr. Irl Hirsch about the high costs of insulin. Dr. Hirsch will discuss the struggles that people with type 1 diabetes face because the cost of insulin has increased to an untouchable point, which forces people to find alternative ways to save money. We will also be talking about the politicization of insulin costs and who's really to blame.

Dr. Hirsch received his medical degree from the University of Missouri School of Medicine in 1984. He completed residency training in internal medicine at the University of Miami, in Miami, Florida and Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach, Florida and a research fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

From both a research and teaching point of view, Dr. Hirsch’s career has focused on studying the best strategies for the use of insulin therapy in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. More recently, he has become involved with artificial pancreas technology and better understanding on the limitations of diabetes biomarkers. With regards to patient care, most patients in his practice have type 1 diabetes or atypical forms of diabetes. Over the years, he has been a passionate advocate for patients ensuring access and affordability for glucose monitoring technology and in the past decade, insulin. Dr. Hirsch has authored more than 250 research papers, more than 60 editorials (including the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA), and numerous book chapters in addition to six books for patients and physicians

Dr. Hirsch is the former chair of the Professional Practice Committee for the American Diabetes Association and has served as editor-in-chief of two ADA journals, “Clinical Diabetes” and “DOC News”. He is an Associate Editor of “Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics” and has been on the editorial board of “Diabetes Care”. He has also served as a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine.  

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