,

From: Life Academy Of Health and Bioscience
2101 35th Ave,
Oakland, CA 94601  

To: American Diabetes Association
2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22202

April 26, 2019

Dear American Diabetes Association:

We are writing to you because you are an organization that seeks to educate the public about diabetes and to help those affected by funding research to manage, cure and prevent diabetes. The fact that you’re trying to get insulin prices to decrease is a hugely upstanding move for the community (American Diabetes Association).

To begin, there is an issue emerging in California; 46% of adults are estimated to have prediabetes or high blood sugar which can lead to type 2 diabetes (Babey). It is undeniable that the people that are impacted by this issue are the people in the diabetic community and children at risk for diabetes. In order to help prevent diabetes, we need to educate others in our community about dieting choices. To continue, there is type 1 diabetes, which occurs when your body doesn’t produce insulin or produces an insufficient amount of insulin. This cannot be reverted, but luckily, there’s exogenous insulin which has saved countless lives. However, in California, the price of insulin has skyrocketed recently. From 2012 to 2016; prices have gone from $35 to $234 per vial which is an increase of over 500%. Then, from 2016 to now prices per vial have gone up to $540 (Alltucker). The amoral companies that are profiting off the diabetic community are against making insulin cheaper because they are generating huge amounts of revenue. Though prices vary depending on where the medication was purchased, this should present an idea of the expenses of insulin. This is an outrageous cost to pay for life-saving medication. Finally, another issue is the fact that one out of four people are not aware that they have diabetes (CDC). This is why we think that educating others is a great idea so that they can recognize the symptoms of diabetes and also adjust their lifestyle choices if needed, thus preventing diabetes. At Life Academy, we already have supporters for our attempt in reducing diabetes. The health center always promotes healthy eating and even bans junk food in the building.

There are many ways to address this diabetes epidemic, and we think the most effective way to create change is to educate people. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, one out of four people that have diabetes do not know they have diabetes or are undiagnosed (CDC). This is why educating people about diabetes and persuading them to get checked is important, as it can prevent diabetes. There is also political organizing, there is a petition on the American Diabetes Association website to decrease the prices of insulin, a medication that some people with diabetes may depend on for their life.

One tactic of social change that has been used in the past is education. This tactic is effective because it educates others about diabetes and how to lower their vulnerability to diabetes and overall just spreads awareness. There have been many attempts to educate the public about diabetes as it becomes more of a problem. One website offers, “Have Questions? We Can Help: 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) MON-FRI 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET. AGENTS AVAILABLE MON-FRI 9:00 A.M. TO 7:00 P.M. ET” (American Diabetes Association). This example shows that people may have inquiries about diabetes. Thankfully, the website provides a convenient way to ask questions about diabetes and have them answered.

Our Plan is to educate others about diabetes, and try to get others to sign the petition on the American Diabetes Association website to support decreasing insulin prices and raise awareness for the diabetic community. To start off, we need to inform adults about the petition and go to classrooms to inform students in middle and high school about what diabetes is and how big of an issue it is becoming. We can spread diabetes awareness by social media as a resource to show statistics, visuals and advice suggested by the ADA and CDC. If we need to escalate, we can make posters for everybody to see. In order for this to work, we need teacher’s permissions to go around into classrooms, and permission to post up posters on the walls or bulletin board. We’re confident this plan will be effective because it enlightens students about diabetes, and we can have them take notes to keep. An impediment to this plan may be that some students may still decide to not change, but they will be informed on diabetes and how it impacts the body. The simple act of educating others is innocuous and we believe it can help greatly.

If you would like to track our progress and support us, please follow us on instagram at diabetes.prevention.2022 and our hashtag #diabetesprevention2022

Sincerely,

Calvin, Christina & Edwin

Annotated Bibliography

Alltucker, Ken. “Struggling to Stay Alive: Rising Insulin Prices Cause Diabetics to Go to Extremes.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 27 Mar. 2019, www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/50-states/2019/03/21/diabetes-insulin-costs-diabetics-drug-prices-increase/3196757002/.

This source informs about the rising prices of insulin and shows the struggles that diabetic patients without money have to handle. The website also contains statistics and information on how many lives are dependant on insulin, and the prices of the medication. This site is credible because it is ran by the news channel “USA today”, which makes it credible because they have a large audience with the intent of trying to spread awareness and educate people on the expenses of insulin. They also show the experiences that people struggling with diabetes face on a daily or weekly basis.

“American Diabetes Association.” American Diabetes Association, diabetes.org/ 1995

The American Diabetes Association is a nonprofit organization with the intent of preventing diabetes by educating others about the disease. They have relevant information such as the cause of diabetes and lifestyle choices that may make people more predispositioned to getting diabetes. Their website even has a way to contact agents if people have inquiries about diabetes. This source is credible because the organization is advising people how to prevent diabetes and finding a clinic for medications. Also, they are fighting to lower the insulin prices to have better access to the medicine.

Aoki Diabetes Research Institute, www.adri.org/. 2015

ADRI is a non-profit organization that focuses on the research of type 1 diabetes. The organization allows donations which shows support for the diabetic community and is focused on patients with type 1 diabetes. This source is credible because they provide vital information on diabetes treatments that others may need to be more healthy. ADRI has also been researching in the field of diabetes for 29 years, so this shows that they have experience in what they are doing.

Babey, Susan H, et al. “Prediabetes in California: Nearly Half of California Adults on Path to Diabetes.” Policy Brief (UCLA Center for Health Policy Research), U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27197309.

This source informs it’s readers about the prominence of diabetes in our country with statistics. The writer of this source has also written many pieces of scientific literature surrounding diabetes. Babey has a PHD and is a co-director of the Chronic Disease Program, and is a research scientist at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. This shows that whoever wrote our source is experienced with diabetes.

“Home.” JDRF, www.jdrf.org/.

JDRF is a non profit organization that researches type 1 diabetes and tries to find new treatments. They also provide services such as connecting to the diabetic community and support for youth and teenagers. That is important because having diabetes may be scary, especially for young ones. This source is trustworthy because of the research, fundraising, and charities they’ve done in the Bay Area for communities and to improve their research. The organization is attempting to prevent type 1 diabetes in children and adults in the future.

“Home.” Children’s Diabetes Foundation, www.childrensdiabetesfoundation.org/. 2019

CDF fundraises for the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes and focuses on patient support, diabetes research, and public awareness. This source is trustworthy because it has patient care and has collections of research by analyzing the genetics of diabetic people in hopes of being one step closer to finding a cure for the disease.

“Madison Clinic for Pediatric Diabetes.” UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital – San Francisco, UCSF, www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/clinics/diabetes/. 2002

The Madison Clinic is a clinic from UCSF that has medical professionals working on researching and treating patients who are diagnosed with diabetes. They even provide resources and support to families that have individuals with diabetes. This source is trustworthy because the clinic is owned by the University of California in San Francisco and how much they care about improving the lives of individuals with diseases such as diabetes.

“Prediabetes – Your Chance to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 21 June 2018, www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/prediabetes.html.

This article reviews prediabetes and how prediabetes leads to type 2 diabetes. Some of the article’s strengths are that it’s not filled with advertisements and has real statistics. The article is relevant to our topic because it contains useful and accurate information about diabetes and formats it’s information in a way that makes sense to all readers. This source is credible because the CDC is a government owned organization that supports disease prevention.

“Type 2.” American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/type-2/.

This page provides data and raises awareness about type 2 diabetes and educates the community about the impact of diabetes. The American Diabetes Association has the intention of preventing diabetes by educating the public about the disease and providing health advice to anyone.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Stopping the Diabetes Epidemic with Education by Edwin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

5 Comments
  1. Lina 1 month ago

    Dear Edwin:
    I am in complete agreement with your post, “Stopping the Diabetes Epidemic with Education,” because I find that your post discusses topics that I also am in support of. One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “ from 2016 to now prices per vial have gone up to $540 (Alltucker). The amoral companies that are profiting off the diabetic community are against making insulin cheaper because they are generating huge amounts of revenue… This is an outrageous cost to pay for life-saving medication. ” I think this is highly problematic because in the recent years insulin prices have become so overly expensive. Diabetic patients who were unable to afford insulin turn to rationing, which puts their life in great danger. I also believe that the very first step we have to take in order to change these problematic issues is by educating our society on ways to recognize the symptoms of diabetes early on, so that the spiking growth of diabetes will hopefully plummet. Another sentence that was striking for me is: “. However, in California, the price of insulin has skyrocketed recently. From 2012 to 2016; prices have gone from $35 to $234 per vial which is an increase of over 500%.” This stood out for me because insulin is a life-saving-drug. The high prices of insulin just goes to show how corrupt and greedy insulin manufacture companies are. Insulin should be something that is easily accessible and affordable for those with diabetes, since their lives depend on it. Insulin, a life saving drug that is extremely costly is basically asking money in exchange with a person’s life. Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because I am in support of what you are trying to speak out against the skyrocketing prices of insulin. In addition, you are also bringing awareness towards having to educate people on the topic of diabetes. I am concern about the same problem, you could see the same concern on my blog https://insulinforall.wordpress.com/

  2. CM 2 months ago

    Calvin, Christina & Edwin

    This post really resonates with me. One of my students has diabetes, and he has shared with me about the rising costs of insulin and the burden his parents face because of his disease. The “amoral companies” as you call them, make my student feel that his life has a monetary value outside of his control. Like you guys, he is determined to do something about it.

    I think you have a great plan for educating the public. Since so many are at risk of diabetes, many people have family and friends affected if they themselves aren’t. This makes all of us a part of the “diabetic community,” even if some don’t count themselves as members. Galvanizing the community in classrooms and social media is a great idea and important work.

    Keep thinking about the ways to engage people without diabetes who may feel this issue isn’t important to them. Also, leverage the diabetic community as much as possible.

    I appreciate your voice. It is so vital to (a) tell the truth and (b) take aim at power structures.

    • Author
      Edwin 2 months ago

      Dear CM,

      I am sorry to hear that one of your students have diabetes and that student is fighting back to lower the costs of insulin. We are trying to help people to learn about this topic of rising costs of medication by educating the community and telling the truth about it, too! If you want to help your student and our group and the community, go to this link to sign the petition of lowering the cost of insulin https://makeinsulinaffordable.org/petition/ Thank you for your time.

      Calvin, Christina, and Edwin

  3. Julia 2 months ago

    Edwin,

    I completely support your stance on the inflation regarding diabetic medication. Your “Stopping the Diabetes Epidemic with Education” post is incredibly insightful and your use of current statistics portray the relevance of the diabetes epidemic today. One sentence I found particularly powerful was “This is an outrageous cost to pay for life-saving medication” because it resonates with so may other medications (contraceptives, chemotherapy, radiation, etc.) that are ridiculously overpriced but is burden many Americans must bear in order to live. My father was lucky enough to be a veteran, so his chemotherapy treatments were covered, but so many in this country are not so lucky. I remember thinking each night that, even though my father had his treatments paid for, it was unfair that there were other fathers, mothers, daughters and sons who were going through the same thing I was, but had to pay out of pocket, or not do it at all due to the outrageous cost. It’s a decision no one should have to make.

    This was an excellent post and it furthered my resolve to go out into my community and do my part in stopping the spread of diet related diseases.

    • Author
      Edwin 2 months ago

      Dear Julia,

      I agree about how we should help others to have the necessary medications to save money and help their loved ones who are not doing well. My Grandpa was diagnosed with diabetes in 2012 and my mom and uncle (my mom’s younger brother) were sending money to help their family and father to have affordable medications to be healthy but sadly he passed away in October by having kidney failure in the hospital. If you want help our campaign to lower the medication costs please sign the petition @https://makeinsulinaffordable.org/petition/

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