My name is Ronnie Rountree and I’m from Waycross, Georgia. Every 90 days, I owe $450 for 11 medications to treat the five conditions I live with: glaucoma, atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and arthritis. Including the Social Security and pension I receive from the state of Georgia, my income is about $2,500 a month. So $450 is a big financial stretch for a retiree like me. In order to afford the prescription drugs I need now, I cut back on food I want to eat –– I get by by only eating the food I truly need to survive, and what I can afford.
The most expensive of my drugs are my eye drops. To afford these drugs that treat pressure and pain and help to preserve my vision, I pay $135 every 90 days for Cosopt, Alphagan, and Travatan. And that cost is very unpredictable –– every three months when the bill comes, I’m constantly worried that the prices might have been raised this time.
The question crosses my mind every day: “What’s going to come up tomorrow?” I was just recently diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and additional lung issues, which might require even more medications. I’m constantly worrying and stressing about my budget, scared to spend money since I don’t know how much more I will need to spend on my medications.
I do know we should have cheaper drugs in the United States. People in other countries are able to get drugs for lower prices, so I know it can be done. I want my elected representatives to do something about drug prices. Please, care for retired people like me. Lower the prices of our prescription drugs.