My name is Brenda Dickason and I am a retired Tucson police department detective and middle school science teacher. I have asthma and am also allergic to both bee stings and latex. I am also a small business owner who sells specialty soaps and seasonal wreaths — in large part to help pay for the very expensive medications I need for my asthma and allergies.

I am supposed to carry an EpiPen with me at all times to avoid hospitalization for my severe allergies. I am 66 years old and recently switched to Medicare. I can’t believe how expensive my EpiPens are on Medicare — over $250 each and every time. Because of the price, I have a difficult time refilling my prescription.

There have been times where I could not afford to carry an EpiPen and ended up hospitalized with anaphylactic shock after being exposed to latex.

I have worked hard my entire life, giving back to my community as a detective and teacher and was looking forward to my retirement. I had no idea how crippling the costs of both my EpiPen and inhaler would be. I now rely on my small business sales in order to be able to afford the cost of my prescriptions. 

It is unfair that seniors like myself should have to worry as much as I do to afford our prescriptions. I shouldn’t have to spend my retirement praying that my small business sales go well so that I can finally purchase my EpiPen. It isn’t right. Something has to change. Drug prices must be lowered now.