ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — In an effort to lower costs, President Joe Biden continues to call for a price cap on insulin.

Insulin can already cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. WFXR News spoke with a Roanoke pharmacist who says he can’t imagine the burden of affording it now and dealing with the high cost of other day-to-day items amid increased inflation rates.

“The fact that you can’t afford your insulin and it’s hard to afford your food makes it even more challenging for people,” said James Black, a pharmacist with the Bradley Free Clinic.

Not everyone can qualify to get their insulin completely covered, leaving many to pay hundreds and nearly thousands of dollars at the pharmacy counter.

“Unfortunately, a lot of people, either they don’t have insurance or have insurance with a high deductible or high copay, which means they can’t afford their insulin,” said Black.

He says the high costs of inflation are forcing plenty of Virginians to make tough decisions.

“If you have diabetes and you really aren’t having any symptoms other than just feeling bad when your sugar goes up, are you going to treat your diabetes or are you going to feed yourself and your children?” asked Black.

Meanwhile, putting food on the table is more challenging these days. The recommended diet for diabetics — including fresh fruit, vegetables, and proteins — is costing more because of the rising inflation.

“If you wanted to buy fresh fruits and vegetables now, first of all, it takes time to prepare it, but second of all, they’re really expensive,” Black added

Black believes the faster we can get a cap on the cost of insulin for patients… The more lives we’ll save.

“I’m glad I don’t have to be the one to try and solve how to do that cap, but I think if we can help people get the medication they need, it’s a great thing,” said Black.

In 2020, former Gov. Ralph Northam signed a House bill into law that caps the co-pay of insulin at $50. However, instead of applying to everyone with insurance, it only applies to those with insurance plans regulated by the state. In other words, Medicare, Medicaid, and other federally managed medical insurance programs don’t qualify.