Letter to the editor: It pays to compare in drug pricing

I wish to thank my doctors for helping to get on cheaper and more affordable prescription medicine. Due to atrial fibrillation, occasional irregular heart beating, I was prescribed dual medicines. One, Sotolol, to slightly reduce heart rate to make it more regular and the other is a blood thinner to avoid stroke. For blood thinning I was given a prescription to the new and improved Eliquis.
Eliquis is preferred since it doesn’t need careful adjustments of dose as previous such medicines, like Jantoven or coumadin. Since atrial fibrillation and the slower heart rate can allow blood flow to slow so much it may clot, a regulator is needed. Such clots can enter the brain and choke off a part and kill that part causing a stroke and paralysis. Eliquis does a good job of regulating blood thinness to prevent stroke. But if bleeding starts there is less control to stop it than coumadin.
Soon after I started to use Eliquis, the price was increased 15 to 20 times (1,500 to 2,000 percent) and it became un-affordable. I struggled for almost a year waiting to get on Medicare Part D to get help with exorbitant prices. Finally, on Part D, there is a penalty for not having paid into Part D for years and a factor that Part D pays less for Eliquis coverage than for other expensive medicines. So, even with Part D, it will cost around $2,000 per year instead of the before rip off time of $30 a year.
Of course I get images of new yachts or houses in Monaco for greedy CEOs. And also paying for all the TV ads for Eliquis. I think that TV ads for prescription drugs should be illegal since people can’t buy then and have to harass doctors into prescribing them. So, I am going back to the pre-Eliquis blood thinner, coumadin (warfarin). Warfarin needs more control to get the right dose, as change in diet and such changes it effectiveness.
The big advantage is that it costs fifteen dollars a month instead of $100 dollars a month. It isn’t advertised on TV, so those costs aren’t there, but there is still the villa in Monaco and the big boat to get there, when I think about Eliquis. I don’t expect any help with such drug costs while Republicans are in charge. Couldn’t even get help through Congress with Democrats. At least Bernie tried to help.
Peter Grant

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