Diabetic Unity

I think of us as diabetic brothers and sisters, we share a bond that many married couples of ten years have yet to reach. Of course we don’t deserve each other, but I’m proud to be of your acquaintance.

Sharing a coffee in any café I see the lady before me play the ritual of prick-bleed-strip-test: we nod in accordance and smile a tip of the hat to the other man’s cake.

Testing for a hypo and I know this sleepy head pales in comparison to the parent of the child still too young for hypo awareness as tireless routine repeats itself every second hour, having to awaken and discomfort her child for her child’s sake.

I put up with the Pharmacist; never enough sugar test strips to meet my prescription and often an unprofessional glance of, ‘you’re using too many,’ yet my heart is busy going out to those with inefficient Health Care Plans and dependent on getting by with few.

My Dr. doesn’t know as much as she should. Type 1 or Type 2 we have all been in this waiting room too long and 1.5 Lada, don’t worry, eventually someone will figure it out, eventually…

Stopped at Customs, “Yes I have a letter supporting my requirement to carry needles onto this flight,” as did the couple on the flight before me, as do the two for the flight behind me. Can’t take sugar through with me, comes as little surprise. Get to Spain and “Sin Azúcar,” relieved as I am by international recognition of “light” cans.

Drip-fed supportive advice and force fed untrue media coverage, often hung on our shoulders and easily sold on our hopes, needs and fears. Expected to be grateful, I am not. I assure you I am not.

I’m going to the bathroom too much and I think of you Diabetes Insipidous. I hope to be a dad one day and I ponder the difficulty of Gestational Diabetes. I think I feel a little shaken as I write this down so time to check and feel satisfied / unsatisfied. I often worry for my eyes, I often worry for your feet, but back in the café we tip our hats in recognition of one another’s emotional fluctuation.

Saturday comes as it always does; supermarket tin to drop a coin and raise awareness beside a half-price special on a packet of biscuits.

Through this disease we triumph and fall with related spirits. I have your back my diabetic brothers and sisters. I hope you have mine. And remember, on a good day, diabetes is not such a bad disease to have.

By Paul Cathcart, Author of ‘Persona Non Grata with Diabetes’

Insulin and all related diabetic medication should be priced as Paracetamol (Acetaminophen / Tylenol)

Packet of Paracetamol, 500mg x 100 capsules only 5p (you save 1p). The reason, simple: there are no clinical patents remaining on the formula. Technically anyone with a white lab coat and a license can knock them out for a cost cheaper than the fresh foil packaging and postage.

But the fundamental analogue type insulin we mostly take has been around since the 1980’s, – and the reach of clinical patents only lasts 15 years or less, so what is going on? Why still so expensive?

Why every time when I read my Tweets, is someone being declined at the Pharmacy or someone else stands rejected by their Health Insurer over costs to cover diabetes related meds? – Is it because you don’t have enough diabetic stress, upset and emotional tenderness to deal with, without the added burden of being unable to sleep at night wondering how you are going to pay for vital medication?

Why is this allowed to continue under the noses of our Governments and Health Care Professionals, while profit growth forecast based on dated medication skyrocket, as assuredly as the sons a Pharma, Tarquin and Farquhar, are wearing silk embroidered socks to fancy school?

It’s all down to tinkering.

Brand control adorning Share Holder promises far in excess of patient care; executive pimps and a stable of us 371,000,000 diabetics being held by the throat whilst assured in a thousand hushed tongues, “It’s not a disease you really have to worry about, its more a condition. Just have some more of this self-same synthetic hormone insulin in all its guises and eat what you like,” while at the other end, “No your Medical Insurance won’t cover these, they are far too expensive.” Those who tinker from the top are all too aware that the majority of us fall somewhere in-between, and at some point we are struggling to keep our heads above water.

So how do you protect an out of date patent on an admittedly miracle formula while choking your ample audience?

Future proof tinkering defined.

By tinker I mean modestly redefining the molecular structure of a synthetic chemical to extend patent reach: it’s slightly different, being delivered in a different way (pump) and comes in a new box – another fifteen years patent exclusivity expected as standard.

Along with further tinkering; artificial manipulation of price, set against what Big Pharma clientele can stretch to; based on a Slavers definition of what a mother will do to protect her child.

Tinkering with education; brand promotion making a mockery of less supportive Health Care Services, engineered to sell more product outweighing patient concern and a horrendous greed that spits in the face of those great minds who first figured out how to deliver us a diabetes solution, to save millions of lives, based on some pigs pancreas in the first place.

And tinkering with humanity; – The scientists who saved us were not thinking, “Just have as much of this as you like and eat as much of those same foods that made you diabetic in the first place,” or I doubt they would have bothered. And I can’t believe for a moment they envisioned brand stranglehold or corporate greed to withhold medication and related peripherals from the poor.

No lab coats and price cuts for us then, no 5p insulin or 1 penny blood sugar test strips; no conspiracy either; it’s all out there in plain sight. Well I guess someone has to keep Tarquin and Farquhar in luxury socks.