Letter: Shouldn’t have to choose
I’ve taken insulin ever since I was diagnosed with Type 1 childhood diabetes 52 years ago. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds: diabetes made me worry about lots of related things but I didn’t used to worry about the price of my insulin. In the last few years, that’s all I worry about.
My prescriptions are important. Everyday, the drugs save my life. Without them, I’ll die. But every day, the skyrocketing prices hurt my family.
For several decades, my medication was affordable. A few years ago, prices started going up and up — not by a little but by a lot. I tried to use the free samples from my doctor, but I couldn’t do that for long.
My family started to suffer. We had to make difficult choices. First we had to cut back on expenses. Then we were forced to file for bankruptcy in order to buy my insulin so we could afford to keep me alive. Then it got so bad that we couldn’t afford where we were living, so we moved. That meant my husband had to leave his job. It was a hardship for my family, and I feel bad about that.
We now spend $600-700 a month on my medications, and that doesn’t even include my high blood pressure medication, my glucose testing strips or the pump supplies, which are about $250 each month. And then there are doctor visits.
Having to choose between medicine or my bills — that’s just morally wrong.
It seems like drug corporations are raising prices so much that they’re out of reach for folks like me struggling to make ends meet.
What gets me is that I have no idea why the costs keep going up so much. I just don’t know why. And I didn’t know when it was going to happen and I wasn’t given any advance notice about how much it would cost.
I wish I’d known more. I wish I’d known why and when and how much.
I hope that legislators will pay attention to people like me and hold drug corporations accountable to give their customers more information. Asking legislators to make changes makes me feel like I’m trying to move a huge stone for a neighbor. We’re all in this together, and maybe I can help myself as well as others.