Latest News | Jun 6, 2019

Patients shouldn’t have to choose.

My name is Letitia Jackson and I am a 55-year-old from Weymouth, Massachusetts. I am heavily affected by high drug prices due to my various medical conditions. I have been dealing with emphysema, chronic pain, and depression for many years. These issues are ongoing, so I am constantly returning to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions.

The ones that have been lifesavers to me are Trazodone, Symbicort, Celexa, and Gabapentin. I take others as well. Although some of my individual copays are low, they do add up. What I end up paying out of pocket takes a huge chunk of the fixed income I make each month.

Because of the high cost of my medications, I sometimes have to do without necessary appointments. I find myself cancelling doctor’s appointments because I realize that I can’t afford the copay to go because I already spent too much on my medications. This also adversely affects my health.

Life is hard sometimes, but it is much more difficult when I have to decide between having my prescribed medication or doing things like seeing my doctors. Patients in Massachusetts shouldn’t be forced to choose between the two. Our health is important and we demand our legislators pass laws that protects us.

My name is Sharon Fisher and I am a 68-year-old longtime resident of Rio Vista, California. I am now retired, and do my best to enjoy my days as best as I can. I used to love going to the gym and lifting or going on long walks, but in the past years I’ve been homebound.

I have dealt with chronic pain for many years and have tried many different remedies. My doctor has prescribed me a number of different medications, but the most helpful were Lidocaine pain patches. These were remarkable, and helped mitigate my pain immensely. However, it was only when I went to pick up my prescription at the pharmacy counter that I found out from my pharmacist that Medicare was not going to cover the patches. The price was just too high.

I asked how much it would cost me, and was told that it would be $600 per month. I was taken aback. I cannot pay for this prescription. I am retired and on a fixed income. With the other medications I take, there is absolutely no possibility of paying for it.

Because of the high price, my doctor put me on a cheaper drug: Tramadol. It does not work as well as the Lidocaine. I don’t get to do any of the activities that I used to love. I miss going to the gym and leading an active lifestyle, but my pain is simply too severe.

Too many seniors have to go without medicine due to high out of pocket costs. Something needs to change –– and soon.