My name is Brenda Gallagher. Like many Americans, I’m an asthma sufferer. I’ve had asthma for a long time. My asthma medications are very expensive. I pay $180 for Stiolto Respimat and $130 for the Flovent. I used to take Advair but that would run over $200 a month and that was even more unfeasible. Luckily, my cancer drugs are covered.
I’m also a wife to Dan Gallagher. He and I have lived in the San Francisco area for the last 25 years. We met at a lumber yard that we both worked at, which luckily provided us great insurance so I never considered the steep price tag that comes with the medications I had to take once I developed lung cancer. Soon after diagnosis, half of my left lung was removed out of fear of spreading the cancer.
Due to the overwhelming costs of medical expenses, my husband and I don’t do much. We don’t go back to Alabama to visit family, we don’t make trips to that many wonders that California has to offer, we can’t help support our family members who need the help. Our budget is so tight we are struggling to keep up with the constantly rising prices associated with life in California. We are barely keeping our heads above water and all we want to focus on is our bodies healing from the ailments that have plagued us both.
If I could, I’d go back to teaching aerobics, but that would affect how much state assistance I receive and I’d no longer be able to pay for our many prescriptions, all of which cost our family upwards of a thousand dollars a month. This is no way to live: in fear of constant financial ruins, in fear that your health is going to have long-standing effects on your family.
Anna Eshoo’s history on drug pricing is terrible, and that’s why I don’t want her representing California in Congress. Don’t reward politicians who are in the pocket of Big Pharma –– my family and I can’t afford it.