HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM)- For many Pennsylvanians, prescription drugs can be the reason they’re alive, but the price tag on those medications can be overwhelming.
Harrisburg natives and twins, Ashley and Emily Sapen were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just three days apart.
“We’ve grown up with it since age 7 together, it has influenced our life and we went to school to be nurses and now we both work in the medical field and get to help patients with diabetes every day,” Ashely Sapen, an advocate for Type 1 diabetes, said.
After college, they used social media to educate and connect with others in the diabetes community.
“We do hear often, there are issues with affordability and access to insulin and even for ourselves, for our future, it is scary because we don’t know what the future brings if costs keep rising and if we will be able to afford that in the future,” Emily Sapen, and advocate for Type 1 diabetes, said.
Pennsylvania Health Access Network says 1 in 5 Pennsylvania adults reported not filling a prescription, cutting pills in half, or skilling a dose because of the high cost.
“The price for me when from $50 for a three-month supply to over $2,800 because it was not considered a covered drug under my plan, said Mary Beth Wicher, who is living with diabetes.
“I’ve lived through foreclosure notices being attached to my front door because I’ve skipped a couple of mortgage payments to take my chemotherapy drug,” said Paul O’Hara, a 12-year leukemia survivor.
Now, bi-partisan legislation is in the works.
‘There is no way for the public to determine any correlation between the cost to the industry and the prices paid by these consumers for these prescription drugs,” said Senator Dan Laughlin, co-sponsor of the bill.
The Pharmaceutical Transparency Act would require pharmaceutical manufactures to report the total cost of production for each drug they produce so the government can help keep prices under control.