My name is David Cruz and I live in Fort Collins, Colorado. In 2015, I was diagnosed with diabetes after my sugar levels reached near fatal levels. After spending time in the hospital where my levels continued to rise, my medications were finally able to bring my blood levels down. I now take Lantus, metformin, lisinopril, and allopurinol.
I dread seeing what the cost will be every month when I have to refill my prescriptions. I’m retired and have insurance coverage through Medicare, but every year my out-of-pocket costs increase. My Lantus insulin alone has a monthly list price over $1,100 and even with insurance still costs me about $130 every month. Once I hit the Medicare cap, which I hit in September of this year, my monthly cost goes up to $250. That’s a huge expense for anyone, but especially for someone who’s retired.
These prices are already unmanageable, but with Lantus continually increasing its price, my out-of-pocket costs continue increasing as well. Every year I hit the Medicare limit for out-of-pocket costs just on my prescriptions, and it seems that I hit this limit earlier and earlier every year.
The high costs of my prescriptions kill my budget. It’s incredibly difficult to plan around the hundreds of dollars I spend on prescriptions each year when retired. I want to be able to plan ahead and stick to a budget, but the uncertainty about my rising prescriptions costs makes that difficult, and with such high prices, I’m lucky if I can afford all my prescriptions and not get behind on bills.
Earlier this year I broke a vial of my Lantus insulin, which only makes affording my drug even more expensive. It’s frustrating that one accident can destroy my budget for the rest of that month and put my health at risk. Because of their astronomical and constantly increasing cost, my drugs are unaffordable for me. I need these drugs to survive, so I end up making sacrifices in other ways, but I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to keep up with these costs.
I don’t understand how drug companies expect seniors to survive with these high drug prices. Our necessary medications cost hundreds of dollars and many of us are left deciding whether to buy our prescriptions or pay our bills. We should never have to make a decision between staying healthy and paying the bills to keep a roof over our head, and an accident like breaking a vial shouldn’t set us up for financial ruin.
We need leaders willing to work for patients and seniors like me. Our system should work to bring down drug costs and limit price increases like I’ve experienced with my prescription drugs. Insulin prices are already high enough and keep rising with no just reason. Patients across the country are suffering and sacrificing just to afford their medicine.