N.J. lawmaker wants to limit how much you pay for prescription drugs
The cost of staying alive this year climbed by $260 a month for Debbie Biase. That's the co-pay for one cancer drug this 63-year-old grandmother from Berkeley Heights says she needs to keep the disease under control. Nearly 80 percent of her $743 disability check is consumed by premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. Were she not living with her family, the former day care business owner said she doesn't know how she would cope. "Some weeks, I take one of the three pills prescribed per day because I need to stretch the medications and can't afford a refill. And every time I pay the bill I wonder what I am paying my insurance premiums for, if I can barely afford the medications that are supposed to be covered," Biase wrote in a letter that was presented at a hearing Monday on legislation that aims to curb the cost of specialty prescription drugs. In an interview last week, Biase said she could not attend the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee in Trenton because she was getting treatment. But she said she hoped her statement communicated how "this is truly life and death for many of us." "Last year, my insurance saved me $39,974. So (the drug companies) need my copays? Come on," she said in exasperation. "They should just take what the insurance pays and be done with it." Read the full article.