Posted by: kellydh | November 26, 2007

Stolen insulin?!?

Just read an article in the IndyStar about a whole truckload of insulin that was stolen somewhere along route Ind. 267 in Indiana. Seriously, $1 million dollars worth of insulin stolen. Beyond the question of how on Earth do you actually steal that much insulin, beyond the question of who would do that, you get to why would someone (or a group of someones) actually attempt this?

I can think of two possible (perhaps over-thought and over-blown) reasons. First, because insulin can be deadly if too much is taken, it can be used as a dangerous weapon. Many a murderer has found an insulin overdose to be a handy, and less obvious way to kill someone. Not a pleasant thought, eh?

Second, there are millions of people around the world who desperately need insulin, but do not have access to proper care because of distance, money or simple availability. Even in this country (almost especially in this country), thousands of people do not receive the medical supplies they need, like insulin, because of a near defunct healthcare system. Without private insurance, insulin is extremely expensive – and people without insurance or medicare or medicaid (which are actually quite difficult to qualify for), often must go without or resort to the insulin black market. And that is a dangerous thing. Once insulin goes on the black market, it loses all credibility in terms of effectiveness, safety and even regulated dosing. Each year, each day, people die from ineffective insulin that has been irregularly diluted, exposed to heat and cold, and sold on the black market to people with no other option. A complete, and total tragedy.

So, in light of this crazy story, I would like to make a plea for all readers to at least check out the IDF’s Life for a Child program. The program uses generous private and corporate sponsorship to provide supplies and education to nearly 1000 children with diabetes in developing countries.

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