September 20, 2019 Blogs

The cost of medicines is absolutely bankrupting.

My name is Katherine Pepper, and I am a 57-year-old resident of Kent, Washington. 

I live with multiple health issues, including asthma, an autoimmune disease, diabetes, and gastroparesis. On top of dealing with the sometimes debilitating symptoms of these conditions, I am also under immense financial stress because of them. The costs of my medications adds up.

The blockbuster drug that really breaks the bank for me is my Humira. It costs $6,000 per treatment. Another medicine that really puts me out is my insulin. The cost of diabetes medicines is absolutely bankrupting. 

One vial of insulin is $350, and I use four vials a month. This does not include test strips or pump supplies. I don’t know a single person who can afford that, and we shouldn’t have to. Insulin is like oxygen –– without it, I’ll die.

I have to decide which medicines I can do without and which I can’t. I end up rationing my medicine, and that is like playing Russian Roulette with my health.

The repercussions of not being able to afford your medicine are truly devastating. Despite receiving disability and paying for private insurance, I am often unable to afford my medicine. Because of this, my conditions have worsened. I lost vision in one eye due to my diabetes. It is getting more and more difficult to remain active. 

I want to be able to live a happy and healthy lifestyle and not be so negatively affected by high cost medications. I urge other patients to share their stories and advocate for lower drug prices.


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