June 29, 2018 Blogs

My name is April. My breast cancer drug costs $13,000 a month. This is how I took a stand

My name is April. I live and work in Pensacola, Florida with my wonderful husband and our 11-year-old son. I also have incurable breast cancer.

My prescriptions are important. Without them, I’ll die. I’m on a new targeted therapy called Ibrance, which will extend my life and my time with my family — but it costs about $13,000 every 28 days. When it was first approved in February 2015, Ibrance had a price tag of $9,850 a month. This price has slowly crept up to what is now my reality.

So many cancer patients can’t afford their medicines. For patients on Medicare the drug corporations can’t pay their copays, leaving them to search for charity organizations to help make this drug affordable. Patients without insurance sometimes aren’t getting this drug prescribed to them at all. Others are left with a huge prescription copay burden. The burden can be so great that they have to stop taking the drug.

That’s why I got involved with Patients For Affordable Drugs. Having to choose between medicine and paying bills is just morally wrong.

With the help of P4AD, I shared my story with my local newspaper, giving voice to cancer patients who can’t afford their medications. My “Letter to the Editor” about my drug prices reached far and wide— and now I’m asking you to share your story, too.

You can do that here. 

Standing up to Big Pharma may seem like a monumental task, but if we can create a wave of patient voices, we can demand action from those in charge. Working with P4AD gave me a chance to tell my story and make an impact.

Now it’s your turn.

Speaking up to make changes makes me feel like I’m trying to move a huge stone for a neighbor. We’re all in this together. I hope that by demanding real action from our elected officials, I can help myself as well as others. I hope you will join me by sharing your story.

Thank you,

April Knowles

Patient Advocate



Patients For Affordable Drugs is the only independent national patient organization focused exclusively on achieving policy changes to lower the price of prescription drugs.