South Carolina Woman with Family Battling Cancer Travels to D.C.

Family may lose farm due to the high cost of cancer medication, pushes for new law to lower drug prices.

WASHINGTON, D.C — A South Carolina woman who may lose her family’s farm due to the high cost of her husband’s cancer medication traveled to Washington, D.C. to push for legislation that would lower drug prices. Lisa Driggers, 59, a Turbeville resident urged U.S. Senators and Members of Congress to support the CREATES Act, a bill that would lower the cost of husband’s cancer medicine from $13,000 per year.

“If Congress caves to pharma and repeals drug cost protections for Medicare beneficiaries in the donut hole, the least they can do is stand up for patients like Lisa and pass the CREATES Act,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs NOW.

Earlier this month, Driggers told her story and asked Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham to support the CREATES Act, a bill that would close the loophole threatening the family’s finances. Affording the drug her husband needs to stay alive has put Lisa through “horror,” she told her lawmakers. 

The CREATES Act (S. 974 and H.R. 2212) would stop big drug companies from blocking competition by refusing to allow their brand name drugs to be used in testing needed to get approval for generic competitors. If passed, people would get access to lower priced generic drugs faster.

The pro-free market measure would save taxpayers an estimated $3.8 billion, according to independent experts and enjoys broad bipartisan support.

The pharmaceutical lobby spent $25 million last year and continues to oppose the CREATES Act despite calls from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, Freedom Works, and the Heritage Foundation to pass the bill.

Lisa Driggers is a patient advocate for Patients For Affordable Drugs NOW, an independent organization that advocates for policies to lower drug prices. The group was founded by a patient with incurable blood cancer, and it does not accept funding from any organizations that profit from the development or distribution of prescription drugs.