Many diabetic patients are forced into the black market to borrow, sell, trade and donate diabetes products, according to an online study.
Researchers at the universities of Utah and Colorado found that more than half of the participants surveyed engaged in donating, trading, borrowing and purchasing amongst family members, friends, coworkers and strangers to acquire diabetes drugs and supplies.
Lead researcher Michelle Litchman told FDAnews that respondents had “varying income levels, with very few at the poverty level, and an overwhelming majority had health insurance, yet could not reasonably access the diabetes medications and supplies they needed to maintain health due to cost.”
Around one third of participants received donations of diabetes medications and supplies, while nearly a quarter borrowed or traded for them. They frequently reported lack of affordability and accessibility as driving factors in their decision to use the black market.
“Our study points to a failure in the U.S. healthcare system,” the researchers said in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.