What kind of life is that?

My name is Helen Fonseca and I am a 78 year old resident of Tewksbury, Massachusetts. In my spare time, I love to play tennis and bowl. Being active is important to me. I am also a patient facing Crohn’s Disease –– which is why I recently got involved in advocacy around drug pricing.

I take Apriso. Before I retired, this drug cost $60 for a three-month supply. However, once I retired three years ago, the cost skyrocketed, going up to $500 for the same supply. There is no generic for this drug, even though its patent has run out. This cost is absurd. And for people like me who are on a fixed income, this cost is often impossible to pay.

When it comes to prescription drugs, you spend the money because you have to. You don’t go to the movies, go out for dinner, or have any kind of a social life. What kind of life is that when you’ve worked for retirement for so many years?

I am currently lucky enough to be able to cover the costs of my medication. But most people aren’t so lucky, and they are forced to simply go without. They shouldn’t have to give up hobbies and the parts of their life that bring them joy. I shouldn’t have to give up my quality of life just to pay for the drugs I need. Massachusetts residents deserves better.