My name is Henry Kracker, an 84 year old from Mansfield, Ohio. I am a retired children’s services agency director, living with diabetes for about 35 years and ATTR amyloidosis since July 2021, a rare progressive disease characterized by abnormal buildup of amyloid deposits in the body’s organs and tissues.
I take a range of prescription drugs to manage my health, ranging from Eliquis, Jardiance, Hydralazine, Losartan, Atorvastatin, Torsemide, two kinds of insulin and a drug called Vyndamax for my ATTR. Vyndamax alone has a monthly list price of more than $20,000 and I am currently paying an average of $1,427 per month out-of-pocket ($17,124 annually). My Jardiance and Eliquis have list prices of $593.30 and $560.75 a month which add another $1,100 to my out-of-pocket costs. Add in my insurance premiums of $6,000 plus and I’ll have an annual out-of-pocket cost of $24,224 for 2023. This is near 25% of my annual income. A cost I realize I can afford more comfortably than most.
No patient should have to navigate this broken system – drug prices should be lower and fairer.
Fortunately enough, I can financially withstand my high medical costs, but there is nothing normal about paying thousands of dollars annually, for drugs that are meant to be life-saving or stabilizing. Even though I can afford my prescription drug prices at the moment, I believe that what I and many more people in different situations are being charged is completely outrageous. The tangible idea of affordable prescription drugs and lower drug prices is an idea about fairness. With profit levels well into the billions, something is very wrong here. The lack of concern these drug companies seem to have over this ongoing problem is alarming.
Though it is still a work in progress, there is one step closer to affordable prescription drug prices for patients on Medicare, like me. Finding out that Eliquis and Jardiance are two of 10 drugs selected for drug price negotiations gives me some comfort, knowing that somewhere down the line, these two drugs will have lower list prices which will translate into savings from my out-of-pocket costs.
Lower prescription drug prices are needed now. It is time to stop Big Pharma from their corporate greed.