My name is Dorothy Nerli and I am a resident of Willows, California. I was born here and attended local schools, and have lived and worked in various locations since then. But in 2001 I returned to this small city because I love this community and my family is here.

At age 85, I found that I need two inhalers to assist me in breathing. ProAir alone has a co-pay of $65, and the other inhaler, Spiriva, is $95. I retired with insurance, so I am currently free from the terror many experience when trying to pay for their medications. However, I am quite concerned for other senior citizens.

I take Spiriva most frequently, as it is the most helpful to me. I also take ProAir every four hours as a supplement. Occasionally I find I am faced with increased costs, like the time my Spiriva went up to $129. Spiriva helps to clear my airways, clearing out my lungs in order to make my breathing easier. I have scar tissue in my lungs due to several bouts of pneumonia. I need these inhalers, and am thankful that I can currently pay for them.

But I know that there are many other seniors in my community who are facing high costs for their inhalers and who cannot afford them. This is a horrible case of greed on the part of the manufacturers, who should lower the price of these medications. It shouldn’t cost seniors their rent or a healthy diet in order to be able to breathe.