Making Tough Decisions

Lowering Drug Cost.jpg

April 29, 2020 – Day 44 of my quarantine.

Last year I wrote a series of articles about income inequality, poverty, and how these things were shortening the lives of millions of Americans – which I then turned into a short film.  

Little did I know that I would be facing this issue up close and personal.

I have type 2 diabetes, glaucoma, and stage 3 kidney disease. Keeping my diabetes in check helps me keep my eyesight as well as keep my kidney disease from escalating to the next stage.

Because I have been on certain oral meds for diabetes for over 20 years they have stopped working for me. Whether this is due to my pancreas shutting down via burn-out or if it is simply that these drugs have stopped working is anyone’s guess. But this is what happened to me. A new class of drugs, one of which is called Januvia, does work for me but it costs $519.00 for 30 pills. The pharmaceutical company that makes it offers a coupon to assist low-income people to buy it. So I began taking it last year with great success. But in January they revoked my coupon. I discovered this was because I turned 65 this year and began my Medicare coverage. They do not offer any discounts for Medicare recipients. Welcome to Capitalism.

Since January, my blood sugar has been steadily rising 2 to 3 times the acceptable levels. My Dr. has tried to get me on several similar medications, but they all cost $500.00 and above. Even with my Part D Medicate Supplemental insurance.

Earlier this week my Dr. said let’s try an injectable – and she sent-in a prescription to Walmart for Victoza. But it turns out this also costs over $400.00 and ALSO has some very horrendous side effects, including thyroid cancer and kidney failure. So – no thanks.

Thus, I have decided to go ahead and have her fill the Januvia order and I will pay the price. These past 4 months of high blood sugar have begun to yield some symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in my feet and if I can feel this going on in my feet there’s a chance that damage is also occurring in my eyes and kidneys. I have not felt well for a while now and really have had to force myself past feelings of exhaustion and depression some days. Obviously, 44 days of isolation have not helped. Some days I just feel hopeless and defeated. And compared to some. my problems are minor…

217,000 people have died worldwide from the virus, 59,000 in my own country. My partner is grieving the loss of a family member, people everywhere are suffering, misinformation runs rampant through our media, our leaders are gambling our lives for corporate interests and dangerously dark forces are beginning to surface calling for the sacrifice of the old and weak – I don’t believe in a personal God. I do believe that we live in an infinitely intelligent Universe. None the less, I found myself on my porch tonight looking up at the stars inquiring, “If you can hear me, we sure could use some help down here.”

Sending you all my Love and Light. Stay Safe. Stay Smart. Stay Strong out there.

Until next time …