Opinion: Medicare’s drug prices put my MS medication out of reach

When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, or MS, back in 1988, there were no treatments on the market. The only prescription I received then was a recommendation to go home and rest. It wasn’t until years later that the first treatment was released. Since then, a lot has changed, but unfortunately, what hasn’t changed is the exorbitant health care costs people like me face.

That’s why I’m glad that Colorado’s leaders continue working to lower costs. Gov. Jared Polis, Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera, and countless dedicated legislators are doing everything possible to save people money on their health care. The legislative package introduced by Democratic lawmakers will do exactly that.

Sky-high costs are forcing many Coloradans to choose between the care they need to live healthy, happy lives and making ends meet.

This is a choice I know all too well.

About seven years ago, I began taking an oral drug for my MS, Gelenya, which cost $63,444 per year. Luckily, my copays were $200 per month. I was also on Ampyra, which enabled me to stand longer and walk more comfortably. My copays for that drug were also $200 per month. With the insurance my husband had through his employer, I paid around $500 dollars total in monthly copays for my MS drugs.

While that’s significantly lower than the tens of thousands of dollars that the drugs cost at face value, it was still a bit of a stretch for us financially. $500 per month is easily the cost of a car payment, a month’s worth of groceries for a family of two, and gasoline. That money could even be saved for excursions like vacations or trips to see family.

These medications significantly improved my quality of life, so we made it work.

Then it came time for my husband to retire, meaning his employer-based …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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