April 20, 2020 Blogs

The cost was just too high.

My name is Mary Combellick and I am a grandmother and retiree living in Gettysburg, South Dakota. I wanted to share with you today the story of my struggles to afford my diabetes medication. 

I have had diabetes since 2006, and it has completely altered my life. My doctor prescribed me a number of diabetes medications that were meant to help me keep my A1C levels down. One of these medications was Onglyza, which worked well for me until I had to stop taking it.

Unfortunately, I was forced to stop taking it because the cost was just too high. It would have cost me $300 per month, and I simply couldn’t afford it. I am a senior citizen and I live off a fixed income. I have a drug supplement plan in addition to Medicare, but it still didn’t cover the costs. I worked most of my life, and I just want to enjoy my retirement in peace. I don’t want to spend my time worrying about being prescribed medication by my doctor that is too expensive. If I were prescribed a drug like Onglyza again, I would have to use a credit card to pay for it, and I would go into debt.

I think it is appalling that senior citizens are having to choose between food or medication, and I think it’s appalling that I had to stop taking a medication my own doctor prescribed me. I encourage other people to take a stand against Big Pharma by sharing their own drug pricing stories, because we’re all in this fight together.


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