Latest News | Mar 13, 2020

We spend more on meds than we do on food.

My wife Carol and I are longtime residents of Juneau, Alaska. We were born and raised on the East Coast, but we made Alaska our home after Carol moved out here to marry me. She has always been my teammate, and we have faced a great deal of hardship together. 

Unfortunately, the latest hardship we’re facing is the cost of our diabetes medications. We were disheartened to find that the vials of Novolin N and Novolin R we need would cost us anywhere from $130 to $600 per month. Doctors wanted to put me on a new medication for my diabetes, and I was told it would be $2,147 for a month’s supply. I didn’t even bother to ask the doctor for the drug name; I just knew I couldn’t afford it. We have to look for coupons and discount cards in hopes that they will lower our out-of-pocket costs, but we are never certain what each month’s payment will look like.

We spend more on meds than we do on food –– and that is without buying pricey diabetes supplies. We have to get our food from food banks. The food we get isn’t always healthy, but with the cost of our prescriptions, we have to take what we can get.

When my wife and I were first diagnosed, it didn’t cost us more than $150 a month to get everything we needed to treat our diabetes. Since our diagnoses in the 1990s, the cost of our medications have nearly tripled. I just turned 70 and Carol is 64. We wish I could be enjoying retirement, but we both still work every day in our community as school bus drivers and doing our best to help the children in our neighborhood. If our medication was more affordable, our lives would change completely. There is no reason people should be getting priced out of their insulin. We are sharing our story to fight not only for ourselves, but for others as well.

JUNEAU — Big Pharma is furiously lobbying Washington to protect its profits, but Sen. Lisa Murkowski is fighting for patients as she works to lower drug prices. That’s why today, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now launched a campaign to thank Sen. Murkowski for her leadership in the fight to lower drug prices and encourage her to support a key Senate bill that would protect Americans from unjustified drug price hikes.

Watch the ad campaign video, “Ashley.”

Currently, the average American pays two to three times more for prescription drugs than citizens in other wealthy countries. The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019 would curtail runaway price hikes in America and cap out-of-pocket costs for patients on Medicare, who can face more than $15,000 a year in drug costs.

“From leading the FAIR Drug Pricing Act through the HELP committee to speaking out against rising drug prices, we know Senator Murkowski has been standing up to Big Pharma,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “President Trump supports the bipartisan Senate bill, and now we’re asking Senator Murkowski to join in cosponsoring this important legislation. We want her to know that patients will have her back.”

Today’s ads are part of the multi-million dollar campaign Patients For Affordable Drugs Now launched last month that features patients speaking out in support of proposals in the House and Senate to rein in skyrocketing drug prices. The campaign features TV, digital, and radio ads across the country that show the toll high prescription drug prices are taking on everyday Americans. In addition to paid media, the effort features visits from patients to Washington to share their stories in person and gives patients a suite of tools to contact their representatives in support of lowering drug prices.

Big Pharma is spending millions to distort, demonize, and relentlessly attack these proposals because the changes could actually break the rigged system that keeps pharma profits high and patients’ costs skyrocketing.

Americans overwhelmingly support action to lower drug prices. Eighty-six percent of Americans — majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — support allowing Medicare to negotiate. Nearly 1 in 3 adults report not taking their medicines as prescribed due to cost.

The mission of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now is to educate the public and mobilize patients to advocate for policies to curb runaway drug prices in America. Touted by The Hill as “a leading drug pricing advocacy group,” Patients For Affordable Drugs Now is a bipartisan non-profit organization established under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Service code. As a 501(c)(4), P4ADNow engages in electoral activity and direct advocacy in support of legislation that would lower drug prices.