US Senator Ed Markey visited Codman on February 23 to talk with providers and staff, and to discuss his efforts to make diabetes care more affordable. Several local press attended the event, which featured Codman’s CEO Sandra Cotterell, Codman’s Chief Medical Officer Renee, Crichlow, MD, and Boston Medical Center’s Christian Arbalez, MD, Chief of Emergency Services.
Sen. Markey toured the health center and chatted with staff, asking about their jobs, patients, and work. He talked, laughed, and took photos with many staff members, and was very engaged in learning more about Codman’s services.
Sen. Markey reminisced about his last visit, and said, “In 2018 I said Codman wasthe gold standard of health centers. As I walk around and see the changes, I now say you are the platinum standard.” He continued: “You just keep getting better and better at what you do.”
After Markey’s introductory remarks, he talked about the challenge for many people to afford their medication, specifically insulin for people with diabetes. He pointed out that some people may pay more than $1,000 a month for insulin and added that the scientists who discovered it sold the patents for $1.
Sen. Markey is advocating for legislation that would cap out-of-pocket insulin expenses for those who need the medication.
Dr. Crichlow elaborated on the importance of insulin and its affordability. “It’s not just about the insulin — it’s about getting the insulin to the right people at the right place at the right time,” said Renee Crichlow, Codman Square Chief Medical Officer. “You have to realize equity is putting resources where they’re needed most. “
Dr. Arbalez talked about how, as an emergency room physician, he sees the results of acute illness brought on by inadequate diabetes care. He told the story of a patient who came to the emergency department with severe complications of her disease as a result of not being able to afford medication.
Sen. Markey’s legislation has broad support among many other lawmakers and interest groups.