My name is Janet Schwartz, and I’m a retired nurse from Newark, DE. I’m 74 years old and was finally diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 59 years old after experiencing symptoms, like nerve and joint pain, for a very long time. 

The price of my medications has tarnished what are supposed to be my golden years.

For several years, I was forced to rely on grants to afford Tecfidera, which carries a list price of over $8,200 per month. However, I haven’t had this medication for nearly a year because the drug maker now says there are no grants. It’s frustrating because I loved this medication. It drastically improved my quality of life and my symptoms. Now I’m no longer taking the medication, I’ve experienced intense hot flashes, leg spasms, double vision, brain fog, and chronic pain. I’m ready to give up. 

I also have type 2 diabetes and was forced to stop taking Trulicity because $200 a month was too much for me. I’m on another drug for the condition, but it doesn’t work as well at all. The switch also costs me time. I have to monitor my blood sugars extremely closely on this less-effective drug.

It is all so difficult to live with.

My lawmakers should know I live on Social Security — $1,600 a month. I would like to ask them how they’d feel if their mother or sister or someone in their family needed medications and couldn’t afford them? Medications should be for everybody, not just people who can afford it.

I have adult children and I don’t want them to have to pay for my drugs and worry about me. I didn’t have children because I wanted to be taken care of in my old age. I just want them to be happy. I just want to afford my prescription drugs.