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The new price of Eli Lilly’s generic insulin, Humalog, is $137.35, and sold for $35 per vial in 2001

Isn’t this insane? Only if we put up with it!

This month, Eli Lilly and Co. announced with some fanfare that it was manufacturing a generic version of its own best-selling insulin brand, Humalog, which it would sell for half off — $137.35 versus about $275.

David Ricks, the chief executive of Lilly, said the company was making this seemingly beneficent gesture because “many patients are struggling to afford their insulin.”

But they’re struggling, in large part, because since 2001 Lilly has raised the price of a vial of Humalog to about $275, from $35. Other insulin makers have raised prices similarly.

In Germany, the list price of a vial of Humalog is about $55 — or $45 if you buy five at a time — and that includes some taxes and markup fees. Why not just reduce the price in the United States to address said suffering?

Instead, Lilly decided to come out with a new offering, a so-called authorized generic. This type of product is made by or under an agreement from the brand manufacturer. The medicines are exactly the same as the brand-name drug — often made in the same factory with the same equipment to the same formula. Only the name and the packaging are different.

This is what deregulation looks like

Cereal

What’s for breakfast? Via USAToday, unsafe levels of weed killer in your kids’ cereal!

A number of popular breakfast foods, including cereals, granola bars and instant oats, were tested and found to contain potentially dangerous amounts of cancer-linked glyphosate, the main ingredient in weed killer.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an environmental advocacy organization that conducted the study, said Wednesday that glyphosate was found in all but five of 29 oat-based foods that were tested.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, the most heavily used pesticide in the United States. Every year, according to the EWG, more than 250 million pounds of glyphosate is sprayed on American crops.

The World Health Organization has determined that glyphosate is “probably carcnogenic to humans” and the Environmental Protection Agency has set a safety level for the potentially dangerous chemical. Just last week, Monsanto was ordered by a court to pay nearly $300 million to a man who claims his terminal cancer was caused by exposure to Roundup. Hundreds of other cases are working their way through the courts.

Unsafe food means higher profits for manufacturers. Now factor in the cost of treatment for childhood cancer, and this lack of regulation is very, very expensive for those of us on the purchasing end.

EPA blocks warnings on cancer-causing chemical

Photo by Jessica Castro on Unsplash

Did you see this Politico story? Here’s a short list of just some of the popular consumer products that may contain toxic levels of formaldehyde: Cheap furniture made with plywood or pressboard. Hair products, especially keratin straighteners. Laminate flooring. Air fresheners and plug-in fragrance, and so on.

So now we know high levels of formaldehyde are associated with leukemia. Do we know how much? Not exactly, because traditionally, our government would rather let us get sick than demand that suppliers find less toxic ways of manufacturing. It should not be up to you, the consumer, to research and avoid every single one of these products. Only the federal government can address this at the root. This is one of the issues where CUFF hopes to raise consumer awareness:

The Trump administration is suppressing an Environmental Protection Agency report that warns that most Americans inhale enough formaldehyde vapor in the course of daily life to put them at risk of developing leukemia and other ailments, a current and a former agency official told POLITICO.

The warnings are contained in a draft health assessment EPA scientists completed just before Donald Trump became president, according to the officials. They saidtop advisers to departing Administrator Scott Pruitt are delaying its release as part of a campaign to undermine the agency’s independent research into the health risks of toxic chemicals.

Andrew Wheeler, the No. 2 official at EPA who will be the agency’s new acting chief as of Monday, also has a history with the chemical. He was staff director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in 2004, when his boss, then-Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), sought to delay an earlier iteration of the formaldehyde assessment.

Formaldehyde is one of the most commonly used chemicals in the country. Americans are exposed to it through wood composites in cabinets and furniture, as well as air pollution from major refineries. The new assessment would give greater weight to warnings about the chemical’s risks and could lead to stricter regulations from the EPA or class-action lawsuits targeting its manufacturers, as frequently occurs after these types of studies are released.