MILLIONS OF AMERICAN adults are at high risk for type 2 diabetes, a disease in which the body struggles to convert glucose into energy because its cells have grown resistant to insulin, the chemical produced in the pancreas that makes the process happen. Type 2 diabetes runs in Danielle Meyer’s family, so it wasn’t a complete surprise when she was diagnosed in 2012 at age 28. What was surprising was the staggering cost of medicines required to treat the illness.
Her doctor ordered two prescriptions, each of which cost $550 a month. With no health insurance, Meyer turned to Horizon Health Care and its 340B Prescription Drug Program, a federal assistance program that allows Horizon to offer discounted medications to underinsured and uninsured patients through partnerships with local pharmacies in and around South Dakota. It dropped the prices of Meyer’s prescriptions to just $8 a month. It was a potentially lifesaving move for the stay-at-home mother of seven. “Otherwise there’s just no way I’d be able to take my medicines,” she says. “I couldn’t afford them.”
Meyer regularly sees Leonard Wonnenberg PA-C at Horizon’s James Valley Community Health Center in Huron. He’s working with Meyer to create a plan that’s helping keep her blood sugars in control. “He’s great,” Meyer says. “He’s got answers to all of my questions, and if he doesn’t know he finds out. We’ve worked out a diet and exercise plan, and with a little boost from the medicine it’s been working well so far.”