Ann Neilson is a retired registered nurse from Madras, Oregon and a patient advocate battling high prescription drug prices. Neilson takes Restasis, an eye drop for chronic dry eye for which no generic option is available. The skyrocketing cost of the drug forced her to ration her prescription, putting her at risk for vision loss. Despite these difficulties, Ann has repeatedly taken the initiative to speak out about her struggles and advocate for others experiencing high prescription drug costs.
In her home state of Oregon, Ann testified in favor of The Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act, or House Bill 4005. It became law on March 13 despite opposition from Big Pharma, and shines light on the shadowy drug pricing process, giving consumers critical information about which drug companies are raising prices in Oregon. Republican State Sen. Dennis Linthicum, an unwavering sponsor of HB 4005, shares the title of Drug Pricing Hero with Neilson this month.
Besides her work stateside, Ann has flown to Washington, DC twice with Patients for Affordable Drugs to share her story with her federal legislators and demand a decrease in prescription drug prices. She advocated for the passage of a law to stop brand drug corporations from abusing a federal safety program and to stop lawmakers from giving Big Pharma a $4 billion bailout in the Medicare Part D donut hole.
Patients For Affordable Drugs is proud to name Ann a December Drug Price Fighting Hero for standing up to Big Pharma, insisting patients have a right to know why their drug costs are increasing.
Over the last few months, P4AD has honored FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, multiple sclerosis patient Victoria Stuessel, the former Administrator of CMS Andy Slavitt, metastatic breast cancer patient and advocate Becky Hall, Nevada State Senator Yvanna Cancela, and T1International founder Elizabeth Rowley.
Patients For Affordable Drugs’ Price Fighting Heroes is a 2018 series highlighting advocates in the fight to lower prescription drug prices.
We will honor patients, private sector leaders, policy makers, and elected officials who are advocating for patients and fighting for lower drug prices. In doing so, we hope to encourage others to join the fight and continue their good work.
We plan to feature our heroes on our social media accounts and blog, lift up their stories in the media and honor them at an event in 2019.
If you have someone you want to nominate as a hero, you can do so here.