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Mother calls for lower insulin prices after the son's death

ST. PAUL, Minn. – On the eve of Mother's Day, a mother tries to draw attention to the high price of insulin.

It's an issue for which she has paid a much too high personal price.

"Last year, our 26-year-old son died because he rationed his insulin," said Nicole Smith-Holt.

Her son, Alec, died of diabetic ketoacidosis after quitting his parents' coverage on June 1. 19659005] Alec died of diabetic ketoacidosis last year after rationing his insulin because he could not afford it. (Photo courtesy of Nicole Smith-Holt)

"He was found dead in his home on June 27," Smith-Holt said. "So it took 27 days."

She said Alec's medical expenses were about $ 2,000 a month.

"Usually, birthdays are a happy time, but it was actually a time when I was very, very worried about his life," she said. "I knew he could not afford the options that were out there."

On May 1

2, the day before Mother's Day, Smith-Holt was at the Minnesota Capitol Level with a group of other families gathering to lower their insulin price. They also want to get big pharmaceutical companies to be transparent about how much the drugs cost – and how much profit they make.

According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 7.5 million Americans need the drug. And an analysis from 2016 showed that insulin costs almost tripled between 2002 and 2013.

On the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol on Saturday, May 12, families gathered to draw attention to the high insulin prices. (Photo: Matt Passolt, KARE 11)

This is the first Mother's Day Smith-Holt will spend without her son.

"He was a mother's son," she said. "He never let a Mother's Day pass without spending time with me, he would show up at my work and bring me a bunch of flowers or bring me to dinner."

She said this was a "heartbreaking" place to spend the holidays.

Nicole Smith-Holt and James Holt jr. claim lower insulin prices following the death of her son Alec last year. (Photo: Matt Passolt, KARE 11)

"I should be with my son," she said. "I should not have buried him at such a young age, and no parent should have buried their children."

Smith-Holt's husband and Alec's father, James Holt, Jr., agreed, "We should plan one," That's okay, we'll keep fighting until we make it. "

" Yes, we do not give on, "said Smith-Holt.

© 2018 KARE

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