My name is Deborah Withrow and I have interstitial cystitis, a chronic and painful bladder condition that has very much altered my life. My doctor worked with me to find the medication that would help me the best. Eventually, we found Elmiron, the only medication that has been effective in treating my symptoms.
Unfortunately, Elmiron costs $800 per month. The manufacturer covers it for me for 11 months out of the year, but that last month is a bank-buster all on its own. I most definitely don’t have $800 laying around, so I do my best to save in the months leading up in order to afford it. I am grateful the manufacturer is helping me out this year, but I don’t know if they will help next year. It’s scary to have to rely on that charity.
In the past, I have not received assistance, so I had to set up a GoFundMe in hopes that friends, family, and strangers would be able to help me afford the drug. I worry every day that my assistance will change and I’ll be stuck in the position I was in last year.
I am on Social Security and a fixed income, and I know that I can’t just shell out $800 on a whim. I also know that there are thousands of other seniors who wouldn’t be able to either. I am raising my voice on this issue for myself and for others who face the difficulty of affording their medications.