I have to take a drug that is much less effective.

My name is Diane Sarmento and I am a 67-year-old resident of Lowell, Massachusetts. I have struggled with the high prices of medication for many years and living with chronic illness has increased my plight exponentially.

I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in my forties, which greatly impacts my day-to-day life and ability to do the things I love. This is further hindered by the high price of my medication. I am a Medicare patient who was prescribed Ampyra, which is meant to strengthen my muscles and improve my overall quality of life. But the price of this drug is prohibitive: when I can't get assistance, I can't afford it.

I was getting assistance for a period of time, but I now no longer qualify. When I was sent two more shipments of the medication recently, I was surprised with a $3,000 bill for them. The medication was free when I had patient assistance, but it has now skyrocketed to over $3,000.

I now have to go without Ampyra due to the high price. I have to take a drug that is much less effective, and because of that I am weakened and am not really able to go anywhere on my own.

Patients need lower drug prices now. It is unconscionable that Big Pharma is gouging senior citizens in this fashion and that I’m facing a deteriorated quality of life because of their greed.