My name is Jackie Trapp. I live in Muskego, WI and have been married for 34 years to my wonderful, loving husband.
In August of 2015, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer. To treat my cancer, I take a drug called Revlimid, and it is unbelievably expensive. With my current Medicare insurance, I face as much as $20,000 per year in out-of-pocket costs just to stay alive. I am 57 years old and will need to be on this medication or a similar one for the rest of my life.
Because of my cancer, I am at high risk of blood clots, so I also take a blood thinner called Xarelto that has a monthly list price of $516. In 2019, Xarelto was the third most expensive drug for Medicare, costing the government over $4 billion just that year.
Since my diagnosis seven years ago, the price of my prescriptions has been a constant source of stress and instability in my life. I spend my time cobbling together enough resources to afford the drugs keeping me alive by applying to grants and fundraising. We have decimated our life savings and equity and have put off appointments we deem less vital. My drug prices add a considerable amount of stress into my life, and my oncologist is concerned my stress levels contribute to worsening my cancer.
We’ve been praying and fighting for lower drug prices for years. When I first heard that the Inflation Reduction Act had a chance of becoming law, including a $2,000 out-of-pocket cap, I was almost too afraid to hope.
Now that the Inflation Reduction Act is law, the out-of-pocket cap will be life-changing for my husband and me. We will finally be able to replenish our savings account and do things we have been putting off like seeing the dentist – and I won’t have to worry about leaving my husband bankrupt.
Nearly 1.5 million Medicare beneficiaries like me who face out-of-pocket drug costs of over $2,000 each year. This reform alone will bring so many people peace of mind and more reliable access to their medications.
Additionally, my Xarelto is likely to be among the first drugs negotiated by Medicare. Medicare negotiation for drugs like Xarelto is a win-win for patients and taxpayers alike. Negotiation will bring lower copay costs to patients like me and hundreds of billions of dollars in savings to Medicare!
With the drug pricing provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act now law, I look forward to a future where I no longer experience the month to month stress of how I will afford my drugs. Thank you to the leaders in Congress and other advocates who fought for lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries like me, something that, even recently, felt like an unachievable dream.