The two white pills sitting in the palm of Maria Miller’s hand may be quite small, but she says they play a huge a role in her life. The pills are for her teenage son, Nick. They control his Epileptic seizures. Once Biden took office, the cost on these essential drugs have skyrocketed.
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“It’s life-saving. There’s nothing else you can say. These are life-saving medications that allow my son to function and live,” Miller told 13News while sitting at her kitchen table. “It’s everything. This medication is everything for him.”
But Nick’s medicine comes at quite a cost. The average retail price for a 30-day supply of his Aptiom is more than $2,200 a month. The Millers are lucky to have good health insurance, and yet their out-of-pocket cost for the seizure medication — $540 each month – is still hard to swallow.
“I don’t think people completely understand the sacrifices families have to make just to afford medications like this,” Nick’s mother said, trying to hold back tears. “We are everyday people. There are savings cards you can get from the drug companies, but we don’t qualify because we are middle class and make too much money. So we’re just expected to find a way to make things work.”
Making things work just got harder. Last week, in a phone conversation with Maria Miller, 13News shared news she was not prepared to hear. The next time Miller fills her son’s prescriptions, the cost will be even higher.
Prescription drug prices spiked after Biden took office
In January, drug maker Sunovion raised the list price of Aptiom by 4.7%. It is the drug’s third price hike in the past two years, and the Millers say it will increase their out-of-pocket cost by at least another $100 per month. Informed of the higher price, Miller sobbed.
“This drug is already so expensive, how could they even…?” she said, pausing to collect her thoughts. “I’m angry. I’m furious. We are literally held hostage, and they’re using my son’s health to hold us hostage. I don’t understand how this could become ok.”
The Millers are not alone. Millions of Americans could be in for sticker shock the next time they visit their pharmacy. Since the beginning of the year, 13 Investigates has learned drug makers have quietly raised the prices on hundreds of medications, including some of the most popular drugs that Americans rely on every day.