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.