ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Diabetes Research Institute estimates more than 34 million Americans suffer from the disease that affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, and some are luckier than others at accessing life-saving medication.

“My husband is in his 50s now and he was diagnosed at 24. He’ll test himself twice a day instead of five times a day like he’s supposed to be doing or he’ll take a little bit less insulin or he’ll skip a meal,” explains Karen Laing.

“I had amputation surgery back in September, and I had a series of foot infections before that which lead up to the amputation which was caused by diabetic foot ulcers,” Dave Lewis explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton. “I’ve been lucky enough that with our health coverage, I haven’t had to go into debt paying stuff or go without, I should say.”

And while some can rely on insurance or find the cash to scrape by, others experience devastating losses due to the price of insulin.

“One of my neighbors here in Schenectady, she’s still greatly affected by her son’s passing. He was only 19 years old. They weren’t able to afford the insulin that he needed because their health insurance didn’t cover it,” Lewis goes on to say.

Wednesday, Eli Lilly—which according to Oxford University controls 23 percent of the global insulin market—announcing it will slash the costs of some of its most prescribed products. The company’s statement says both Humalog and Humulin will go down by 70 percent before the end of 2023. The company had previously listed the cost of Humalog as more than $500 for a five pack of instant injectors and close to $275 for a vial.

Lilly also announcing its non-branded insulin will be capped at $25 a vial and it will expand its existing Value Program limiting pharmacy costs, which Laing and her husband already utilize.

“It brought his costs down to about $35 for a vial of insulin instead of the $99 he was paying before. So that’s a huge savings,” she says.

Laing is CEO of Health Literacy for All and teaches classes on how to communicate health needs to your doctor, warning signs for major conditions, and how to cut big companies’ red tape. She says the move by Lilly is a good first step, but there are many other costs that come with being diabetic that also need attention.

“Are they using an insulin pen or an insulin pump? That’s a couple thousand dollar machine that keeps that regulated well,” Laing says.

“It’s really important that we learn to be able to communicate well with our doctors, no matter what our medical concerns are, and that we learn to listen carefully to their advice,” she concludes.