Mutual Aid Diabetes (MAD) was formed in response to the insulin crisis in the United States. We are a group of diabetics who saw a need, especially during the pandemic of COVID-19, to more formally organize mutual aid efforts in the diabetes community.
Many of us have relied on mutual aid due to rationing insulin and supplies, and many of us have provided direct aid. Pharmaceutical companies’ patient assistance programs are burdensome and difficult to qualify for. Attempts to cap co-pays don’t help the uninsured or those with high deductibles. Currently none of the major diabetes non-profits provide direct monetary assistance to patients struggling with the cost of diabetes.
A sustainability advisor will work with community members and help find the best long term solution to their particular situation which can include health insurance options, prescription access, guidance applying to patient assistance programs, or help navigating local public or charitable health options, 340b clinics.
When MAD receives a request for financial assistance for a copay, insurance premium, or healthcare supplies, the request is assessed based on urgency. The MAD team will engage a direct community outreach strategy to crowdfund the request, and for the most urgent requests we will use money from our general fund.
If there is a request for non-prescription diabetes supplies (test strips, lancets, meters, ketone strips, needle tips, syringes, etc.), MAD will either match the community member with a registered donor who has supplies to spare, or gather/supply funding for purchase of over the counter supplies.
At this time, MAD does not facilitate the donation and redistribution of prescription supplies, however in some situations we do refer those in need to community members who participate in prescription supply sharing.
Together, the community has the means to provide for one another. We are building a place to facilitate this and strive to include those in the diabetes community that other organizations have not. Mutual Aid Diabetes recognizes the inequity and injustices created and perpetuated by the systems we rely on to survive. We seek to create a platform for those in our community who have been systemically erased from the conversation around insulin and medication access, especially members of the diabetes community who are (but not limited to) Black, Indigenous, Latinx, type 2, LADA, MODY, type 3C, CFRD, fat, incarcerated, immigrants, un/under-documented, trans, and who have co-occurring disabilities.