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Dana Nessel takes insulin manufacturer to court

Posted at 5:32 PM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 17:45:00-05

MICHIGAN — A 1930 newspaper clipping shows insulin from Eli Lilly would cost someone $2.10, for 400 units.

If that price kept up with the regular rate of inflation, it’d cost $33.39 today.

But Kushal Prajapati knows insulin costs go up at a very different rate.

At one point, the flight home to family in India, was the cheapest option to get the medication he needs to live.

“Me taking a $2,000 flight home, buying a whole year worth of insulin, and flying back, was cheaper than paying out of pocket,” Prajapati recalled one time when he ran out, and his doctor prescribed him a different brand of insulin, “He said, your insurance doesn’t accept that. So for one vial, it’s going to cost you five hundred dollars.”

It was the same exact medication, just a different name.

Attorney General Dana Nessel says it’s a problem she’s ready to tackle.

Asking for two previous Michigan Supreme Court cases to be reviewed, saying they limited her office’s ability to enforce Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act.

Nessel says it’s the precedent set by two cases determined in 1999 and 2007 that got the price of insulin in our state so high, to begin with.

Prajapati says his diabetes forces him to pay a much higher price.

Each time his sugar gets too high, he risks losing his eyesight, and kidney functions at a younger and younger age.

“It affects you long term. Even though diabetes is a part of me, and I live with it, it’s like this little roach that eats you slowly, very slowly. Things start hitting you later in life,” Prajapati explained.

His pump alone, which he *needed, cost him $3,000 and he had to prove to his insurance, he needed it.

“It's dreadful. It’s not easy, and like not to say that seeing that number in your test results, affects you mentally too. I can see myself at 60 years old in a hospital bed with tubes tied,” said Prajapati.

A frightening reality, for the young man who just started a job in West Michigan.

“I’m privileged enough to have a job and have insurance. But when I moved from India.. this is a leader in the world. We are in god d*** America,” Prajapati explained, saying he knows there has to be a better way “It’s like putting the gun to your head and asking you to pull the trigger because you cannot afford it.”

Attorney General Dana Nessel is speaking with media tomorrow about this in a press conference at nine in the morning we’ll be sure to keep you updated.