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Some diabetics in Minnesota turning to black market for insulin

Insulin supplies
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Insulin supplies

The Star Tribune’s Glenn Howatt writes, “Faced with soaring costs and insurance restrictions, Minnesota diabetics are turning to Facebook, eBay, Craigslist and other lesser-known markets where they can offer medication they no longer need and ask others for help. Reselling a prescription medication such as insulin, or even giving it away for free, is illegal under federal and state laws. Yet in certain cases, diabetics are willing to take the risk.”

For the Pioneer Press, Mara Gottfried reports, “The fates of five St. Paul police officers recently fired will likely fall to independent arbitrators. What are the chances they get their jobs back when the dust settles? In a number of recent high-profile cases in the Twin Cities, officers were reinstated to their jobs. But that’s not the outcome across the board. During the past five years, fewer than half of law enforcement workers were allowed to return to their jobs after being fired and having appealed their cases to an independent arbitrator.”

MPR’s Emily Bright and Sophia Sura write: “The annual Twin Cities Pride Parade kicked off in Minneapolis on Sunday by honoring the Stonewall uprising, which took place 50 years ago. Marchers leading the parade carried a 30-foot wide banner with the word Stonewall, decorated with signatures, personal experiences and messages to parents and Pride organizers. The Stonewall uprising served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in America.”

A WCCO-TV story by Esme Murphy says, “When the definitive history of the gay rights movement is written, two Minnesotans could well get their own chapter. Way back in 1971, Jack Baker and Mike McConnell legally obtained a marriage in license in Mankato. … Eventually the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled against them and the U.S. Supreme Court chose not to hear their case.”

This from the AP: “A man who has been a spokesman for a small group of armed civilians patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border was charged with impersonating a U.S. officer or employee. An indictment returned Wednesday by a grand jury in New Mexico charged James Christopher Benvie, 44, of Albany, Minn., with two counts of false impersonation of a U.S. officer or employee, federal prosecutors said in a news release Friday. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted.”

KSTP-TV reports: “Minnesota Administrative Law Judge Barbara Case ordered a Hennepin County employee reinstated to her job, with back pay, and called the firing of the employee’s co-workers ‘disconcerting’ in her ruling May 10. … Twenty-four Hennepin County workers in the Child Support Services Division were accused of falsifying their timecards last fall, and some of them chose resignation over termination. However, dismissed employee Tracy Schutt appealed her September 2018 firing to Judge Case’s courtroom and prevailed when the judge ordered the county to put her back on the job with back pay and benefits reinstated as well.”

Also from KSTP-TV: “Some young people accused of crimes are finding themselves in a tight spot when it comes to finding legal defense. A new push to make sure they’re getting representation in court is emerging from the University of St. Thomas School of Law. University of St. Thomas law professor Rachel Moran and her students are part of a burgeoning effort to not only find juveniles accused of crimes … legal representation, but also give law students crucial real-world experience in a court setting.”

Rochelle Olson of the Star Tribune says, “The next U.S. District Court session comes Thursday in the excessive force lawsuit filed by the family of Jamar Clark, who was fatally shot by Minneapolis police in November 2015. … Only the attorneys for the parties are expected to appear — not the full set of high-ranking City Hall officials who had previously been ordered to court by Davis.”

In advance of the Democrats’ first presidential primary debates, The Miami Herald’s Mary Ellen Klas says, “ … unlike many of her Democratic rivals, [Amy] Klobuchar has declined to endorse free four-year college and single-payer healthcare. She has also voted with Trump more than any of her other Senate Democratic colleagues, 29% of the time. … She has earned the reputation of being a workhorse in Congress, getting bipartisan co-sponsors on more bills than any other Democratic member.”

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Gerald Abrahamson on 06/24/2019 - 09:31 am.

    Insulin and other drugs (Lantus, etc) are all available in Canada without a prescription. So, a bus ticket can get them a 3-month supply *brought back to the US* from Canada (but can NOT be shipped to the US–as shipping to the US requires a valid US prescription).

    • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 06/24/2019 - 01:00 pm.

      Does Customs let that through?

      • Submitted by Robert Ryan on 06/24/2019 - 10:54 pm.

        From a Strib article dated May 12, there was a report on people traveling to Canada for insulin and other exorbitantly priced drugs, it was reported that:

        “As they had decided the previous night, they told the border officer that they were bringing insulin back in.

        The disclosure drew no interest or questions from the agent. Instead, he asked about alcohol, tobacco and firearms.”

        The same article also reported:
        “Although it is illegal, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website says “it typically does not object” to imports if they are for personal use and the supply is for less than three months.”

  2. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 06/24/2019 - 01:15 pm.

    What’s a dude from Albany doing all the way down there at the Mexican border when we have our own border with Canada? Shouldn’t he be up there stopping all those Canucks from sneaking down to use our insanely expensive health care system?

  3. Submitted by Eric Snyder on 06/24/2019 - 02:32 pm.

    How is it not obvious that if people are dying because they can’t afford insulin or going on the black market to get it, that the current insulin manufacturing system is morally and economically bankrupt?

    Our public and political discourse around this is woefully inadequate to the gravity of the situation. We need to be talking about and passing legislation like:

    -Radical and permanent price controls.


    -Federal government contracting with non-profit manufacturers to make and distribute insulin at cost. It shouldn’t rise to a threshold of concern that this might wipe out the market for for-profit companies. So much the better, actually.

    The market isn’t and mustn’t be treated as sacrosanct. Human life and well-being must take precedence. It’s bloody insane that this even has to be argued for.

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