As a single mother, a new grandmother and emerging artist, Akaimi, 44, of San Antonio, TX, has an active and creative lifestyle. Her treatment for large granular lymphocytic leukemia was successful, and the cancer is now in remission, but she continues to have side effects from the chemo treatments. Her doctor recommended a biosimilar.
Your Voices, Your Health
AAM’s “Voices of Access” report features patients across the country speaking about the importance of generic and biosimilar medicines in their lives. This annual publication tells the impact that accessible medicines have on everyday Americans – on their health journeys, their economic well-being and their daily lives.
Now that Rich, 72, of Laurel MD, is semi-retired, he loves to go boating on the Chesapeake Bay. His 15-year-old boat is equipped with a diving board to entice the grandchildren. Rich takes a generic drug to control his blood pressure. He and his wife are enrolled in Medicare but not a supplemental plan, so lower-priced generics are his best option.
Doug, 74, of Pembroke Pines, FL, was taking a brand-name drug to control his cholesterol, but after his insurance company discontinued coverage, his doctor recommended the generic.
It’s done everything that the brand-name drug did,Doug says,plus it’s much cheaper. Those generic savings have really come in handy, because I’ve been able to help my grandchildren with their college savings.
McKenzie, 24, of Salt Lake City, UT, lives at home with her parents. She works full time as a receptionist at a chocolate factory, and in her spare time she performs aerial acrobatics on hanging silk fabric. She likens the activity to
dancing in the air. Generic prescription drugs help McKenzie cope with anxiety and seasonal affective disorder, and they help her save money, too.
Eric, 60, of Cincinnati, OH, gets his blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes prescriptions filled at the St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy. Pharmacist Lydia Bailey has seen Eric every month for the past six months, checking that his medicine is working properly and that he’s eating right and hitting the gym. His A1C level, which tests diabetes control, has settled from an alarming 11.3% down to the goal value of 7%.
When people have the foundation of health, they’re able to do more, be more and reach their potential. Just ask Raeanne, a 33-year-old single mother of three in New York City.
I take generic medications for asthma,she explains.I don’t have a lot of time or money to spare, so I tell the doctors to just give me the generic because they work the same, and it’s way less than half the cost of the brand name. I’ve been able to use the savings to go back to school.
Before COVID, Michelle, 58, of Stroudsburg, PA, realized a lifelong dream and traveled to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos. If it weren’t for her low-cost generics, she would not have been able to afford the trip.
Financially, I cut corners wherever possible,she says.But not on my health. I always ask my doctor if the generic of a medicine is okay for me, and he always says yes. Not that I take his word for it—after all, I’m a librarian, and if I can do anything, it’s research.
We must secure sustainable markets to ensure patient access to generic and biosimilar medicines
This article first appeared in The Medicine Maker on March 22, 2021.