DFA physician advocacy story portal
Prescription drug prices are skyrocketing making it incredibly challenging for patients to afford their medications. Nearly three in 10 Americans report incorrectly taking their prescription drugs specifically because of cost. Physicians are on the front lines providing patient care and witness the negative impact of high drug prices in the form of medical complications and patient suffering.
This story portal includes physicians from across the country sharing their patient stories in their own words via video and prose with the goal of spreading awareness about this injustice and advocating for meaningful policy reform at the local, state, and national level.
The portal also includes advocacy resources for healthcare professionals and medical advocates.
Please share your story and join the movement.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, MD PhD, and 2018 candidate for Governor in Michigan, notes that U.S. taxpayers have already paid to invent the medicines for which we pay exorbitant prices to private prescription drug corporations. He urges the President of the United States to negotiate prices with drug companies, and to use the leverage Presidents already have in law to revoke a drug company’s government-granted patent monopoly and license a generic producer when prices are too high.
Dr. Hussain Lalani, of Dallas, Texas, shares a story about a patient who is losing her vision because she cannot afford her insulin. He calls on U.S. Senators to pass H.R. 3, Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
Kareen Constant, a Howard medical student, shares a story about how she can’t afford her own medicines, and calls for the passage of H.R. 3, the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
Dr. Perry Tsai from Chicago, shares a story about a patient with mental health illness who cannot afford her medications. He calls on U.S. Senators to pass H.R. 3, the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
Camila Khan, a medical student from Wisconsin, shares her story about unaffordability of Epipen for her peanut allergy. She calls on U.S. Senators to pass H.R. 3, Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
Amy Napleton, a medical student, shares a story about her nephew who has an allergy to penicillin, and her experience about how expensive those medications are. She calls on Governor Pritzker to sign the Illinois Prescription Drug Affordability bill into law.
Dr. Juliana Morris from California, shares a story about her frustration when her patients cannot afford the drugs that they need to stay alive. She calls on her Representative Barbara Lee to co-sponsor H.R. 3, Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
Uzma Z. Hussain, a medical student in Washington D.C shares a story of her hypertensive father who can't afford the drugs he needed. She calls on Congress to pass H.R. 3, to lower drug costs.
Dr. Adam Delconte, of Illinois, Chicago, shares a story about a patient with a severe heart failure because he spreads out his medications due to high drug cost. He calls on Governor Pritzker to institute the Illinois Prescription Drug Affordability Board to remove those prohibitive barriers.
Dan Rosenbush, a medical student in Washington D.C, shares a story about a patient with heart disease who cannot afford his medications. He calls on Congress to pass H.R. 3, Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
Dr. Aakash Shah, an emergency physician from Northern New Jersey shares a story about his life long diabetic patient who was forced to repeatedly endure the emergency room, because he can not afford insulin. He calls on Governor Murphy to pass the NJ Drug Affordability Board.
Dr. Jen Klevin, an emergency physician in Hackensack, New Jersey shares a story about her friend who can not afford insulin drug after losing his job. She looks around for a solution, but ultimately end up paying herself, out of pocket. This is unsustainable, and Dr. Klevin calls on the next President to break monopolies on prescription drugs when the prices are excessive.
Internal Medicine Physician Dr. Lynne Fakeye shares a story about a patient who had to choose between paying for their medicine and paying for electricity. The typically adherent patient had cut down on their dosages to keep the lights on. Dr. Fakeye urges Governor Murphy to pass the NJ Prescription Drug Affordability Board bill.
Dr. May Nguyen, a family medicine doctor from Houston, Texas, shares a story about a patient who cannot afford her contraceptive implant. She calls on members of Congress to pass the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
Patty Kellner, a family physician in Cleveland, finds that her own medicines have become unaffordable when her health benefits change, and is forced to look online for savings. She calls on her representative for passage of H.R. 3, so we can get to more sustainable solutions.
DFA Board Member Cedric Dark, a doctor in Houston, shares his story about a patient unable to afford their medicine, and calls on his Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee to help get H.R. 3 over the finish line.
Dr. Alison Case, a family medicine doctor from Albuquerque, New Mexico, shares a story about a blind diabetic patient who cannot afford her insulin medications. She calls on all Senators to sign on to the Grassley Wyden bill to lower prescription drug prices.
"One of my roles as a primary care doctor is to keep patients out of the hospital. Patients come to see me for maintenance so their chronic medical conditions don't escalate to the point that they need emergency care. When patients can't afford their medications, emergencies happen. My patient, we will call her Amy, had newly diagnosed COPD after many years of smoking. She had been to the ED at least twice in the past month with cough and difficulty breathing. We were excited to start her on daily inhalers that would help control her symptoms. But these medications are unattainable for those without insurance, and even for those with insurance the co-pays are often hundreds of dollars. I didn't see her again for weeks but the Emergency Department did. She ended up with a prolonged hospital stay due to complications from pneumonia. She eventually was able to get insurance but only after quitting her job so she could qualify for medicaid. If she could have afforded those medications in the first place all of this could have been avoided. Instead she is now in debt and sicker than she was before. Senators Grassley and Wyden have come together across the aisle to bring a bill that would be a first step towards lowering drug prices for my patients. It's time for Senator McConnell to introduce the bill so we can start making progress towards affordable medications for everyone."
Alison Case, MD
Dr. Cedric Dark, DFA board member and physician in Houston Texas, reports on a patient who had a second heart attack, because they could not afford the medicines prescribed after their first heart attack that would have kept his stent open. Cedric asks his friend Representative Lizzie Fletcher to please support H.R. 3.
"When I met Martha in the Emergency Room, I was deeply worried by how fast she was breathing and the inability for her to speak. She tried to catch her breath and could barely whisper a word, pointing to her husband at her bedside. I could hear a high-pitched musical sound coming from her mouth every few seconds. Her husband shared that Martha had severe asthma and they were unable to afford the cost of Mepolizumab (Nucala), a biologic drug that had changed her life temporarily. “I tried to pay for it on my own but we could not afford the $700 per injection”. That was a discount considering the cost can range up to $3200 per injection. Instead, Martha had a severe asthma attack and nearly died from it."
Dr. Hussain Lalani
"Scott has been taking a blood thinner medication, Apixaban, for the multiple blood clots he developed in his lungs for the past few months. At the beginning of this month, Scott was short on cash as he had to pay his apartment rent. As a result, he went without his blood thinner for about 10 days. Before he knew it, Scott was severely short of breath and ended up in the hospital. He was found to have new blood clots across his body and in his lungs. This occurred specifically because Scott was unable to afford his blood thinner because it was too expensive (monthly cost ~$500 at its peak). It’s immoral to have patients pick between paying for life-saving medications and the cost of renting an apartment. Scott’s hospitalization would likely have been avoidable if he was able to afford his Apixaban."
Dr. Hussain Lalani
Op ed in the Chicago Tribune on House Bill 3232 by bootcamper Nikita Deshpande, a first-year medical student at the University of Chicago and Alan L. Hutchison, Ph.D., a fourth-year medical student and incoming internal medicine resident at the University of Chicago.
Op ed in the Chicago Tribune on the Illinois Generic Drug Pricing Fairness Act by bootcamper and Copello Fellow Alum Dr. Mara Divis.
Op ed in the Baltimore Sun on state drug affordability boards by Dr. Nicky J. Mehtani, a resident physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital.