Natalie Shure

Natalie Shure is a writer and researcher whose work focuses on health, history, and politics.

 

Recent Articles

The Insulin Racket

Insulin is a 100-year-old drug whose wholesale price has tripled in ten years. The reasons why explain everything wrong with America’s broken prescription drug market.

This article appears in the Summer 2019 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . On June 22, 2017, Alec Raeshawn Smith, a recently promoted restaurant manager with Type 1 diabetes, left his local pharmacy empty-handed. He’d gone in to pick up a month’s worth of insulin supplies, which he assumed would set him back around $1000—the amount he and his mother Nicole Smith-Holt had budgeted the month before when he turned 26 and, under Obamacare rules, had to drop off her insurance coverage. For Alec, that price was already steep: Even with his promotion, he was making $35,000 a year with no benefits. He and Smith-Holt had combed through Minnesota’s Obamacare marketplace for months in search of a decent plan, but the affordable ones all had sky-high deductibles. That meant that he’d be paying full price for his insulin for months before his junk insurance kicked in, on top of hundreds of dollars in monthly premiums—sucking up some 80...