My name is Temple Riddle and I am a resident of Gillette, Wyoming.
I am 79 years old and view myself as being fortunate in this life. My husband and I receive a fixed income each month, and we have a roof over our head. However, we do still face a lot of problems in retirement –– mainly, in affording our medications.
I have had Sjogren’s syndrome all of my life, but I was only diagnosed in 2009. Sjogren’s is an autoimmune disease that causes dry eyes and mouth. Many people may wave this away as a non-issue, but when you can’t even talk properly because your tongue sticks to the top of your mouth and leaves you with an audible speaking issue, you definitely view it as a problem.
My doctor prescribed me a medication called SalivaMax as a treatment, and she gave me samples in order to try it out. I got 6 samples, and my life just about completely changed. It helped me so much. But when I went to the pharmacy counter to pick it up, I found that it cost close to $800 a month. Who can possibly pay for that? I know I can’t.
Another medication I need that is outrageously priced is Premarin. In the US, I was told I had to pay $128 for it. I couldn’t afford that. Now I have to go through Canada, where I’m able to get the same drug at a fraction of the price.
I am thankful I am good at using my computer because I have been able to find ways to bring my costs down. However, I know there are countless others my age who just can’t afford their medications, and have no idea how to find the workarounds to get them for less. America’s seniors shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get the drugs we need.
I am sharing my story to fight for myself and for others who are in this situation. I want to be able to speak without any issues, and being able to afford my medication would give me back that ability.