I'd like you to meet Jean. When I first met Jean I had my assumptions challenged in a big way! Don’t you love when that happens?! All I knew about Jean beforehand was how she had described herself; as an elderly double amputee. We were meeting for a cup of coffee at a local restaurant. I assumed that she may be driving a handicapped equipped vehicle and that she would be encumbered with mobility problems.
My mouth dropped open when 79 year old Jean zipped into the parking lot in her 1988 Nissan Turbo 300 ZX and popped out sporting double prosthetic legs and wearing shorts, a tank top and matching hairband! Cute as a button, smart as whip, and wiry as could be.
As we got to know each other I learned that I wasn’t the only one who had their assumptions shattered by Jean. The members of the sailing club that Jean had once joined shied away from including her in their crew. They assumed that her prosthetics and age would be a liability. Jean just quietly bided her time. Finally, only when there was no one else left, they reluctantly added Jean to their crew. You guessed it ......turns out Jean is an accomplished racer and knows full well how to race a sailboat! Subsequently she was the prized crew member.
Jean likes challenging assumptions. When teenagers pull up next to her at a traffic light and are disappointed to see an elderly woman at the wheel of that sporty vintage vehicle, with a wink and a smile Jean just leaves them in the dust!
You’ve got to love that spunk and admire those survivor skills.
Jean is facing a different type of challenge now. Her COPD leaves her short of breath. That is not her biggest challenge, though. With her usual aplomb Jean takes aerobic classes at the gym to build up her stamina and maintain her lung capacity. She’s doing well and is not dependent on an oxygen tank.
She is dependent on her medication, however. Herein lies her difficulty, because greedy big pharma has set their sites on Jean. They see her and others like her as a threat to their bottom line.
You see, Jean’s advair and spiriva were too expensive for her to purchase in the U.S. Being the survivor that she is, Jean discovered that she could purchase an entire 3 mos. supply of both medications from Canada for the same price of only one month’s copay of just one med in the U.S. Jean has been successfully importing her medications from Canada for two years.
But, big pharma has refused to be cut out. They used their ungodly influence with Congress to bury Section 708 in the recently passed FDA Safety and Innovation Act (S. 3187) Section 708 betrays vulnerable Americans. It authorizes the government to destroy Jean’s (and others like her) medication.
Americans who import medication because they can’t afford the high price of medications in the U.S. are praying for a miracle. Many simply won’t be able to afford their medication after the law goes into effect.
RxRights, a non-partisan consumer coalition concerned with the real threat of Americans losing access to affordable medication, has started a White House petition on behalf of Jean and over a million others like her. It asks President Obama to delay the rule making process for this unjust regulation. The petition needs 25,000 signatures by 8/31! Here is the petition.
Michelle, thanks for bringing attention to the issue of affordable medication. It's an issue that concerns all of us. Let’s show support for Jean and others by signing the petition! We’ll teach them a lesson from Jean’s own playbook and show them that she’s not a sitting duck. They shouldn’t have targeted Jean and the countless survivors like her! We’ll show them that we’ve got their backs!