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'An Arm and a Leg': Revisiting Insulin: How the Medicine Got So Expensive

Analysis  |  By Kaiser Health News  
   March 02, 2021

"An Arm and a Leg" is a podcast about healthcare costs, and its second season is co-produced by KHN.

This article was published on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 in Kaiser Health News.

By Dan Weissmann

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About This Podcast

Healthcare — and how much it costs — is scary. But you're not alone with this stuff, and knowledge is power. "An Arm and a Leg" is a podcast about these issues, and its second season is co-produced by KHN.

We're re-releasing a story we first reported in 2019, about how insulin got to be so expensive. And this 2021 update  includes a check-in with people working to make the potentially lifesaving medicine more available.

The story seems especially relevant right now, for two reasons:

The rollout of the COVID vaccine has reminded all of us how vital it is to make  breakthroughs in the lab and make sure everyone can afford to benefit from them.

The second half of the episode — about ways that people who need insulin are taking action on their own behalf — fits An Arm and a Leg's current focus on financial self-defense.

The updates from the people we spoke with in 2019 are more encouraging than expected.

Here's a transcript of this episode.

"An Arm and a Leg" is a co-production of Kaiser Health News and Public Road Productions.

To keep in touch with "An Arm and a Leg," subscribe to the newsletter. You can also follow the show on Facebook and Twitter. And if you've got stories to tell about the healthcare system, the producers would love to hear from you.

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And subscribe to "An Arm and a Leg" on iTunesPocket CastsGoogle Play or Spotify.

Kaiser Health News is a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

The rollout of the COVID vaccine has reminded all of us how vital it is to make  breakthroughs in the lab and make sure everyone can afford to benefit from them.

The second half of this podcast — about ways that people who need insulin are taking action on their own behalf — fits An Arm and a Leg's current focus on financial self-defense.


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