As candidates for President and Congress talk about their health care plans leading up to the elections in 2020, I believe it is critical that they focus on prescription drug price reform. While the nation is now appropriately focused on the Coronavirus pandemic, we also can’t forget about other health care priorities that continue to impact millions of Americans.
Like nearly one million Americans, I have Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic and often debilitating disease. I depended on reliable access to a prescription drug to help me manage my condition and maintain a good quality of life.
When I turned 65 and went on Medicare, I was shocked at the cost of my drug. The annual retail cost of my medication was now $83,500. Our out of pocket expenses would have been nearly $10,000- completely unaffordable! With my husband’s support, I made the frightening decision to stop taking the prescription drug that had kept me walking for 23 years.
Currently, people with MS on Medicare Part D face out-of-pocket costs averaging more than $6,000 just for one MS drug therapy. For retirees on a fixed income, paying more than $6,000 just for their MS medications is a serious financial burden. We need a cap on out-of-pocket costs now.
As candidates for President and other elected offices ask the people of Wisconsin for their vote, I urge you to consider their position on prescription drug price reform carefully. This problem isn’t going away, and voters should demand leadership and results from their elected leaders on an issue that affects the lives of so many.
Elections matter and, together, voters who care about this issue can make a difference! Please choose to make a difference!