Patients shouldn’t have to buy their medications abroad.

Hello, my name is John Wood and I am a 70-year-old resident of West Springfield, Massachusetts. I have type 2 diabetes that I work to keep at bay by living a healthy lifestyle. However, I also take Onglyza to help maintain my A1C levels.

The cost of my Onglyza varies throughout the year. At this time, it’s $120 and manageable for me. However, I usually fall into the Medicare donut hole within 6 months, causing a coverage gap. That’s when the price skyrockets to upwards of $450. At this time I’m fortunate enough to be able to manage the costs and remain healthy. Because I need it, I pay for it. Without it, I would fall extremely ill. That comes at a cost, affecting my mental health and my freedom to spend my retirement as I wish. It limits my ability to participate in leisure activities, and although I am thankful I am able to afford it, I very much believe the cost should be lower.

What is most appalling to me is that this drug is much less expensive in other areas of the world. I once bought Onglyza in Aruba for $50 with no insurance coverage. This, simply stated, is price gouging. Patients shouldn’t have to buy their medications abroad when the medications are available here in the states. I can’t imagine what will happen once I get older and need more medication –– and I fear for when that day comes.