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'It's a no brainer': Crossing the border to buy affordable insulin

Kevin Trager is a Type 1 Diabetic who was appalled at the price of insulin in America. So, he went to Canada. He hopes others will do the same.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — "They are messing with my health and it's not fair," Kevin Trager, a Louisville resident said.

He realized what other people were going through about two years ago when he got on private insurance.

"I saw what a deductible was for the year, and I realized my insulin was so expensive that I was going to meet it within the first 6 weeks," he said. "If you don't have insurance, you're talking tens of thousands of dollars a year in medical costs."

Trager's a Type 1 Diabetic.

Credit: WHAS
Kevin Trager founded Sensible Insulin - an organization that helps diabetics find affordable insulin.

"This disease was not caused by poor diet and exercise, because if you're a Type 1 Diabetic, it's hereditary. I have to take insulin every day," Trager said.

He's found another solution, one that won’t break your bank.

"I've seen a lot of national stories about these caravans to Canada," he said.

RELATED: 'Something has to be done' about rising insulin costs, local doctor says

People are turning to the black market, crossing the border to buy cheaper drugs and bringing them back home. It’s only legal if you’re using them for personal use.

"It's a no brainer. It's the exact same product. It is manufactured in the United States and it's shipped to Canada," Trager said.

This summer, Trager made the trip himself.

"In one day, I went to nine pharmacies, locally in Canada just to ask about prices and the process to purchase insulin as an American. It was unbelievable how easy it was. You didn't need a prescription, you didn't need insurance. You tell them what you want and they sell it to you for a tenth of the price for what we pay as an American. It was frustrating," Trager said, holding two vials of insulin. "This one which I bought in Louisville was $450, and this one was $57. Same exact product."

Trager also found a pharmacy in Ontario that will ship the insulin to you.

"There are other options out there for you. You don't have to be held hostage by your insurance company and your PBM."

He founded the organization, Sensible Insulin, hoping to spread the word to other diabetics.

"This disease is so hard to manage with a fridge full of insulin. I cannot imagine trying to go 3, 4, or 5 days without it," Trager said.

RELATED: 'It was right there and I couldn't afford it': Diabetics plead for change as insulin prices skyrocket

Contact reporter Brooke Hasch atbhasch@whas11.com. Follow her onTwitter (@WHAS11Hasch) andFacebook.

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