My name is Pam Holt. I’m 68 years old, a mom, a grandmother, and a retired first and second grade teacher. I’ve traveled from my home in Indiana to Washington, DC this week.
Before I tell you why, and what I hope to do, I want to tell you what led me here.
In 2012, I received news that altered the course of my life, news no one wants to hear.
I had cancer. The low-boil, slow-moving, incurable sort. In a strange way, I felt lucky. I accepted the diagnosis — why fight it — and continued to make the most of life. The cancer is called multiple myeloma. My doctor recommended I started taking a drug called Revlimid to keep it at bay.
I started taking the drug, but the price kept rising — three times in the last year alone. Today I pay $640 per month, even though I have both Medicare and a supplement plan that I pay for.
I had to take on $10,000 in debt to pay for Revlimid.
I had to take on $10,000 in debt to pay for Revlimid. But, I told myself, the company needed this money for research.
Or so the story goes.
I was wrong.
One day a few months back, sitting at my kitchen table, checking the news on my phone, I caught an article posted by Patients For Affordable Drugs.
Celgene, the company that makes Revlimid, should be giving samples to generic drugmakers so they can make a cheaper version, but it repeatedly refused to do so. Celgene is abusing a loophole in our laws to keep the price high.
The company keeps raising the price simply because it can. And, I keep taking on debt.
I’m even refinancing my home this year.
It’s plain wrong
The 6 and 7-year-old children I taught would know better.
But we can do something about it.
Sign up for a patient advocacy webinar. It gives patients like us tools to elevate our voices, contact our lawmakers, and expose big pharma’s lies.
If you have it in you to do something like this with the help of Patients For Affordable Drugs, I’m here to tell you that you can.
Because I just did.
— Pam Holt