Risking addiction because of high drug prices.

My name is Donna Pingrey and I am from Colusa, California. I was born in 1957 and have lived a very active life. Things changed in 2005 when my shoulders were injured while on the job — rotator cuff tears.

From that point, my medical issues increased, and the need for costly treatments did as well. I had surgery on both shoulders and was subsequently put through pain management, including Fentanyl. After a number of discussions with my doctor, we were able to find a pain patch that would allow me to get off of Fentanyl. My work compensation originally paid for the pain patch, but eventually the compensation ended. 

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“If my medication options were cheaper… I would be taking a less dangerous medication.”

- Donna Pingrey

I am on Social Security and the Part D component is supposed to cover part of my medications. However, I found out that my pain patch still costs $700. I also take Oxycodone because it is cheaper than a non-dependence forming alternative. The Oxycodone is typically $15 until I hit the donut hole –– when it rises to $215. I am on a fixed income and these prices are simply out of reach. 

If my medication options were cheaper, my life would be drastically different. I wouldn’t have to go through a rigorous pain management plan, because I would be taking a less-dangerous medication. I have to be extremely careful with my finances. Medications are simply too expensive, and patients deserve to be able to live without having to worry about spending everything in their bank accounts.