August 26, 2019 Blogs

High drug prices make life unbearable.

My name is Anil Kadam and I am a 64-year-old husband and father from Laurel, Maryland. I retired a few years ago, and I try to spend as much time as I can with my wife and my family, as well as on my hobbies, which include working with the HAM radio. I wish I could spend my retirement in a carefree manner, but even when I’m doing things I love, there is a constant, nagging fear at the back of my mind: the high cost of my medication.

I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) and a host of other issues in 2012. I have a Cigna health insurance plan that has always taken care of my family’s needs adequately. I have been able to cover the copays for most of my medications over the years, but I was recently presented with one that I couldn’t pay for.

My doctor prescribed me Entresto, a blood pressure medicine manufactured by Novartis, that has proven to be effective in mitigating some of the difficulties associated with my disease. I was really happy with the results of the medication, but my happiness was quickly turned into fear when I found out how much it would cost me per month. As a retiree, I have a lot of health care and living expenses, and having to pay $50 out of pocket for Entresto is simply out of my reach.

High drug prices make life unbearable. If Entresto had a generic, maybe I wouldn’t be stretched so thin financially. Fifty dollars may not be much to some, but it is a ton more for me, especially when you add up all of the other healthcare related costs.

My wife, Joyce, lives with diabetes and requires an expensive drug called Jardiance that costs $250 a month.  I have to carefully consider what food I buy, what I spend my small income on, because of the high cost of my Entresto. We have cut back, for instance, by sharing a vehicle, but we cannot afford new tires we need due to the costs of our medications. Patients like me deserve better. I urge my lawmakers to fight for lower drug prices for all those who need them.


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