My name is Edward Hawley. I am 64 years old and am very active in my Portland community. But I live on a fixed income, and I know that there are many others in my position who are facing health care difficulties just like I am. I even moved to Portland to care for my sick and dying sister, who is experiencing difficulties managing her health and the costs associated with it.

I have type 2 diabetes, and I know that this is a condition that plagues the wallets of countless Oregonians. I am lucky to benefit from the VA, so I’ve rarely had to pay for the highest prices of insulin that you hear about on the news. However, I constantly think about and worry for those who do have to face the monthly cost of their insulin. I know how difficult it can be because I once faced paying the out-of-pocket price for my insulin.

When I lived in Arizona, my mail-order shipment of Lantus insulin came late and arrived unrefrigerated. That made the insulin unusable. Because this medicine is necessary for my health, I immediately went to my local pharmacy to replace it –– I didn’t have time to wait for a new mail-order shipment to come in. I was told it would be $250 to purchase that insulin out of pocket.

Who can afford that? I know that I, and other retirees like me, can’t. I was forced to put it on a credit card and pay it back on payments with interest. If this happens again, I simply don’t know what I would do. I don’t have a credit card anymore. I would have to make a decision between purchasing my insulin and purchasing other necessities like groceries. It shouldn’t be this way for patients.

I have heard of patients crossing US borders to get their insulin for much less. The United States should make importation of medicines legal, so that patients can receive their medications without hurting their pocketbooks like I had to.