The Crusader Newspaper Group


By Dr. Yaoundé Olu

There are a number of pressing issues affecting the health and well-being of the African American community. One of the chief health challenges is the condition known as diabetes. It comes in several forms: gestational diabetes that occurs in certain women during pregnancy; Type 1, which includes juvenile diabetes that impacts youth as well as adults; and Type 2, adult onset diabetes that is developed during adulthood and can be related to diet and lifestyle choices, among other matters.

To date, over 30 million Americans are affected by diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association, and the African American population is disproportionately affected in comparison to the general population, according to their studies.  African American diabetes rates are 12.7% as compared to 7.4% among whites.

There have been horror stories about the high costs of insulin. Fortunately, a hero has come along to help defray the costs among African Americans. The Eli Lilly Company has announced the launch of the Lilly Diabetes Solutions Center and Helpline to assist people with insulin affordability.

Eli Lilly and Company is a global leader in diabetes care, and understands that there are gaps in health care for communities of color. They are working to help close them by reducing the cost of insulin and making sure that everyone has equal access to their medicines.

The Solution Center is a solution-oriented program to provide relief for those who are not insured, underinsured, or have high out-of-pocket expenses. The Solution Center can provide cost savings solutions, free clinic information to receive support, and short-term and long-term options for immediate needs. Basically, Lilly is dedicated to making sure that no one has to pay full price for insulin!

It is no secret that the African American community has suffered from economic issues that have impacted just about every aspect of life. Healthcare issues are no exception. The help that the Eli Lilly Diabetes Solution Center and Helpline will provide should be viewed as a very welcome intervention. It can alleviate some of the financial problems that the community faces as it fights the diabetes epidemic.

To implement the initiative, the Eli Lilly Company has donated insulin to three relief agencies that serve communities of color globally and particularly in the U.S. – Americares, Direct Relief, and Dispensary of Hope. They have distributed insulin to 150 free clinics around the country. The helpline will direct people toward these clinics in their local communities and provide information on how they can obtain it.

To ensure that the word about the Solution Center gets out, Eli Lilly is taking out full-page ads in African American newspapers in selected markets through the members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), announcing the Solutions Centers.

This is a great opportunity for African Americans, who are disproportionately affected by diabetes. The collaboration with the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center will help decrease the complications of diabetes by making sure that access to affordable insulin is available to improve the quality of life in African American communities.

African Americans have been ignored and mistreated by various and sundry associations in the past, but this new initiative from Eli Lilly is a welcome turn of events. The dilemma of increased diabetes diagnoses and other numerous healthcare challenges when trying to manage diabetes, such as cost for treatments, medications, limited supplies and access to primary care to maintain a quality of life, will be a wonderful opportunity for the members of the community to gain some relief from this dreadful scourge.

Everyone should spread the word! Help is available now by calling the Lilly Diabetes Solutions Center helpline at 833-808-1234 to get more information and immediate assistance. Representatives will be available from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET) or 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CT) Monday through Friday. A Luta Continua.

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