Robin Cressman discovered one day in Tijuana, Mexico that she could buy her brand name insulin for less than one tenth of retail price in the US. She has a high-deductible health plan and was going into credit card debt just to pay for her insulin and supplies - a total of $10,000 USD including monthly premiums and out-of-pocket maximum - year after year.
In what she began calling her “Red Pill Moment,” she realized that, in her home country, she was being extorted for her lifesaving insulin, and that brand name insulin was owned and litigiously guarded by the Big 3 insulin manufacturers: Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi.
She also realized that American diabetics were rationing their insulin because they lacked awareness of any other option when faced with prohibitively high pharmacy bills. Robin was sure that given slightly different circumstances, she could very well find herself in the same, unthinkable position of rationing her insulin.
Having always found support, wisdom, and experience in the T1D community, Robin was surprised to find very little information online and among friends about buying insulin in foreign countries. She was compelled to share her experience with others and create a document that other diabetics looking for options could use to create their own path to accessible insulin, until it is finally accessible and affordable for all in the US.
She built Liberate Insulin as a creative response to the corner she felt backed into by pharmaceutical companies, and the opaque and inscrutable US healthcare industry as a whole. She vows to not buy insulin at US retail price until insulin is accessible for all in the US, and will cross borders, share with friends, and otherwise take her business elsewhere.
Robin lives in Southern California with her husband and dog, and enjoys long walks on the beach with both of them.