NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - Charlie Gardner suffered a heart attack in January 2016. A few months later he was diagnosed with diabetes. He now takes multiple medications for his heart condition as well as insulin, and his mounting medicine costs are etaking a toll on his budget.
Gardner was one of dozens who reached out on the 10News Facebook page to share their stories, and one of thousands of Americans struggling to get by because of crippling drug prices.
“It’s devastating because you have insurance and you pay insurance every single month, but then they don’t cover it or they only cover it for a certain amount of time, or they only cover it for a certain amount,” said Gardner.
“Having to pay for medicines every single month and pay insurance - every time you go in there to buy your medicine you get kicked in the you-know-what, and that’s not right.”
“It (ticks) me off. It’s like nobody cares about us,” Gardner added. “I asked my doctor ‘Since I’m having to pay for my insulin myself, can I stop the insulin?’. He said ‘Yeah, you can stop it, but you’ll be dead in six months’.
"My heart medicine, if I stop taking that who knows how long it will be before my heart just says ‘OK, I’m done’, I’m not ready for that. People who are on medicines like I am, we’re not ready to die yet.
"We want to live just like everybody else does.”