March 12, 2024 Blogs

Catherine’s Story

My name is Catherine Benitz and I am from Greeley, Colorado. I am a 70-year-old retired educator who has lived with psoriasis since the age of three in 1956, Sjogren’s syndrome since 2013, and several other immune conditions diagnosed in 2021 and 2022 after getting COVID-19 vaccines. 

I currently have medical insurance coverage by Medicare, a supplemental plan, and a prescription supplement plan. All three plans cover many of my routine medications like Celebrex, Levothyroxine, and my antibiotics, but only provide limited coverage for eye drops and topical skin creams for when I have autoimmune skin outbreaks. Thus, in the previous year, I was responsible for paying $517 for a three-month supply of Xiidra and $28 a week for Moxifloxacin eye drops. One skin cream has had a copay of $560.

Due to these conditions, I have to be very careful being in different environments. I always have to carry extra medication, eye drops, and creams because of the constant fear of having outbreak reactions and having to schedule multiple doctor appointments out of precaution and routine treatment. This type of preventative action along with regular prescription drug costs eventually adds up to extensive out-of-pocket costs for me. I, therefore, cannot buy a car though mine is now 14 years old and I cannot take a vacation because I have to have money to pay for all of my medical expenses. 

I, ultimately, believe in lower prescription drug prices because the healthcare system should not be a profit-making industry. I should be able to access my necessary prescription drugs and be able to make financial investments and purchases that are good for my well-being without having to go into debt or pinch at pennies. – Prescription purchases are not a personal choice for the patient, but a necessary one. –  We know from the costs of some of the drugs in other countries that profits are being made off of the pocketbooks of ordinary citizens who can be productive with appropriate medication and medical care but are otherwise struggling to afford such treatments and continue living healthy lives. 


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