Open letter to Senator Tammy Baldwin, Senator Ron Johnson, Representative Tom Tiffany:

This letter regards the inflated price of pharmaceutical drugs, a result, I believe, of capitalism gone awry and of pharmaceutical companies calling the shots in our healthcare industry. 

In early April, antibiotics were prescribed for a bacterium in my stomach lining, a rather common ailment.  When I called the pharmacy to confirm that the prescription was ready for pick-up, I was told they had to re-check with the doctor to see if the prescription could be filled differently. 

The prescribed medication, a name brand drug, would cost $1,300 to $1,500 if they could even obtain it; the pharmacy never keeps it on hand because of the cost. 

The name brand drug is just a convenient combination of three common ingredients.  Purchased separately they cost me $63.90. Maybe the assumption is, “it’s covered by insurance.”  Aside from me being a “self-pay” customer for prescriptions, this is an egregious misuse of power by pharmaceutical companies, not a case of need for “research and development.”  Rather, a case of “follow the money.” 

Some insurance policies won’t cover certain generics.  If insurance covered my exorbitant cost, we’d all pay increased premiums anyway. The pharmaceutical companies are laughing all the way to the bank, the stockholders are jumping for joy and their lobbyists earn a bonus--all reasons we need limits on drug prices, elimination of lobbyists, and other arguments for deep reform of our healthcare industry.

Citizens of Wisconsin need you, our elected representatives, to take the lead and do something about this untenable situation. If I’m faced with this situation, so are thousands of others.  What are you going to do about it?


Barb Wetzel


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