Award-winning producer, musician, and songwriter Jimmy Jam provided testimony with support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to urge the Senate Appropriations Committee to renew the Special Diabetes Program (SDP). The celebrated producer also advocated for policies that will ultimately ensure insulin affordability for the many Americans who are finding themselves at a loss due to lack of insurance and unpredictable pricing.

Sharing his testimony of managing his son Max’s diabetic journey, Jimmy Jam explained, “Max is now in his twenties, and we’re glad that instead of those constant finger pokes to test him, he now uses a continuous glucose monitor or CGM.”

“These life-changing devices never would have come to market as quickly as they did – or perhaps even at all – without research funded by the Special Diabetes Program and JDRF’s funding and extensive involvement,’ Jimmy Jam added.

Diabetes, a chronic disease plaguing over 37 million Americans, has become an increasingly concerning issue for adults and youth alike who are fighting to not only manage their diabetic lifestyles, but struggling to afford the necessity of insulin treatments to keep them alive.

Nationally, the average out-of-pocket cost for a 30-day insulin supply stands at roughly $63 per fill with the help of insurance coverage. However, for those managing medical costs without financial aid, those rates nearly double to roughly $123 per fill, leaving a troubling number of diabetics already functioning in lower socio-economic circumstances in a medically dangerous space. 

Such extensive costs can force the hands of many, leaving their only option to ration the few doses of insulin that they have.  However, insulin rationing is a dangerous option, as serious and sometimes deadly consequences can arise including hyperglycemia, a greater risk of developing ketoacidosis, and a greater risk of kidney failure blindness.  The stakes are even higher for those with type 1 diabetes, as complications due to rationing insulin intake can lead to a coma, or even death.  

“Through Max’s eyes, I have also seen the crisis facing millions of Americans: insulin affordability.  There are already so many people across the country who can’t afford their insulin, and over the years the cost has gotten higher,” Jimmy Jam said.  “People like Max need insulin to survive.  I’ve heard heartbreaking stories of families forced to ration insulin because it is too expensive.  Congress should make sure no family has to make these impossible choices to keep their child alive.”

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