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Opinion: We need prescription drug reform

As candidates for president and Congress talk about their health care plans leading up to the elections in 2020, it is imperative that they focus on prescription drug price reform.   

I am one of the 1 million Americans living with multiple sclerosis and take prescription medication(s) to treat my condition.  

The drug therapies I depend upon are very expensive, even with good health insurance. 

As the cost of MS drug therapies has increased, so have my out-of-pocket expenses, which makes it harder and harder to access the medications I need and to meet other essential expenses. 

Today, people with MS on Medicare Part D face out-of-pocket costs of more than $6,000 just for their MS drug therapy(s). For those on a fixed income, paying more than $6,000 just for their MS meds can represent a serious financial burden. We need a cap on out-of-pocket costs now. 

Please understand that many living with MS or any other serious illness may also be living with and trying to function on a daily basis with more than just one life altering illness. Consequently, more medications are needed. 

When a person is able to go out to dinner and choose what they want to eat and have a relaxing dinner, that is a blessing. However, when you have to go to the pharmacy and have to choose which medication you are able to afford that day, how many days’ worth and which of the medications will have to wait until the next time, that only adds stress and anxiety; symptoms and side effects worsen, and one’s overall heath deteriorates. 

I know this is not only a growing concern for me but for tens of thousands of voters in Georgia.  There are a lot of important issues to consider in the upcoming elections, but for me the issue of prescription drug price reform is at the top of the list.

Carla L Schneidewind


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