My name is Steven Alton, and I’m from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am 69, a Medicare beneficiary and a veteran who has suffered from severe migraines for the last four years. 

My doctors and I don’t know why my migraines started to happen, but I do know that when a migraine comes on, my life is severely impacted. Migraines impair my eyesight and my balance. I suddenly can’t stand bright light. When they hit, I have to stay in a dark room lying down, sometimes for days. 

There is a medication that provides the relief I need to live my life. The drug is called Ubrevly, and 10 pills are priced as much as $3,000. Imagine that — 10 pills, $3,000. I simply can’t afford it. 

For an entire year, I jumped through hoops in order to get this medicine. I had to drive back and forth to my doctor’s office for free samples to treat my migraines. Eventually, I found out that through my insurance I owed  $216 for 10 pills. As a senior on a fixed income, that is still a massive expense for me. 

I’ve managed to come up with the money, but it isn’t easy. A friend from church paid for my first batch of Ubrelvy because I couldn’t afford it, and my church community paid for my second box. I then used my $1,400 COVID stimulus money to buy a third box. 

People like me are falling through the cracks and suffering all while Big Pharma maximizes profits. High drug prices are killing senior citizens and veterans, and pharma leaders don’t seem to care. That’s why we need immediate action from our lawmakers. Medicare should be negotiating the prices of our prescription drugs.