The prices are out of control.

My name is Glenda Smith. I’m from Kennebunk, Maine. I’m married with 3 wonderful children, but I also have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and COPD. The costs of my prescriptions are out of control.

My prescriptions are important. Every day, my medication makes my life easier. However, my medicine just costs way too much. My Symbicort, Lostatin, Spiriva, and other medications cost me about $1,200/month, not to mention the $5,000 we have to pay out of pocket before insurance even begins to pay its portion. That is not realistic on our fixed income. My drugs costs alone are more than my entire Social Security check. In order to afford what I need, I have to get resourceful. I ration my drugs and recently stopped taking my Spiriva, which ultimately has a negative impact on my health. I can already feel the difference in my body. It is not a safe practice, but it is a necessary one. I recently lost my sister-in-law due to the same problem –– she was rationing her insulin. It is ridiculous what these drug companies are doing to us.

So many patients can’t afford their medicines. If drugs were more affordable I would be able to pay all of my bills on time. I would also be able to take my medicine the way I am intended to by my doctors. But it’s a balancing act with drug prices this high.

For many hardworking families like mine, the reality is that affording your drugs is not guaranteed. At my age, acquiring the medication is just as stressful and taxing as the diseases I am treating. It makes you question everything. What is the point of drugs if the people who need them can't afford them? Something must be done about the price of drugs in our country.