April 15, 2020 Blogs

There is no guarantee.

My name is Deanna Robinson and I am a 72-year-young woman living with leukemia. When I was first diagnosed in 1998, I was immediately worried about leaving my family behind. But I quickly found out that wouldn’t be my only worry.

Early in my treatment, I started taking an oral chemo drug, Imbruvica, for my leukemia. When I found out how much the drug would cost, I was astounded. How is anyone supposed to pay tens of thousands of dollars each year in order to stay alive? My doctor helped me join a specialty pharmacy which will sometimes help folks like me. They have been helping so far, and the drug seems to be helping a great deal. But I just don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t able to afford it. I started out with three pills a day, which cost between $4,000 and $5,000 a month. 

I noticed the cost for my drugs at this time is getting close to $9,000 per month. I am grateful that I am able to take the drug, but there is no guarantee on how long the specialty pharmacy will be able to continue to help. I know there are so many others who are not receiving assistance like I am, and I’m grateful. But I also know that at any moment, I could lose my assistance. If I lost it, I would simply have to quit taking the medication. There is no way I would be able to afford it, and I would become yet another victim to the high cost of medications.


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