A sad reality.

My name is Lynn Seabrook and I am 59 years old. I live in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania with my husband. I am a retired administrative assistant and these days I enjoy spending my free time with my four wonderful grandchildren. I also know firsthand about the impact high drug prices have on families like mine.

I am a diabetic who also suffers from coronary artery disease, chronic kidney disease, herniated discs, pinched nerves, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Management of all of my conditions requires a slew of expensive prescription drugs. I realize I have more medical conditions than the average American, but this is the hand I have been dealt. I am currently prescribed Norvasc, Lipitor, Bentyl, Cymbalta, Neurontin, Inderal, and Lantis, just to name a few. The total cost of all these drugs is astounding.

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“My husband has not had a new pair of shoes in years, and I worry about the burden my drug costs place on my family.”

- Lynn Seabrook

Year by year, I am noticing that prices are increasing for the drugs I depend on. The high prices make feel like I am physically tied to my house –– my husband and I cannot afford to go anywhere or do anything special for ourselves. There have been times that I could not afford the medicine that was prescribed to me because it was just too expensive. This is a sad reality that is not rare, and it ultimately causes my health to suffer.  It is sad to say, but I sometimes feel like I would be better off dead –– especially at the end of the month, after prescriptions have been purchased and we are completely broke. My husband has not had a new pair of shoes in years, and I worry about the burden my drug costs places on my family. If drugs were more affordable our quality of life would drastically improve. We shouldn't have to decide if we would rather eat or treat our ailments.

For too many families, affording medication or basic necessities is a choice that must be made on a regular basis. There is no reason American families must make those kinds of decisions. We must hold drug manufacturers and Congress accountable. Just think about it: If your family members were in this predicament, you wouldn't want them to have to choose between eating and living their life. Change must occur or people will continue to suffer unnecessarily.