East Coast Rx Express -- Catherine Mulholland -- Largo, Florida
Catherine Mulholland is a one-time Washington Post reporter who has been free-lancing for decades and currently writes romance novels. Her latest is a historical work about the Choctaws.
She has had an interesting life, raising a family and writing. Her health coverage was "pretty good" with Medicare. It was adequate when she had open heart surgery. But there has been one shortcoming in her health coverage: prescription drugs.
"If I had some way to get high priced prescriptions, I'd have no problems whatsoever," Catherine says.
"Prescription drugs have only been a big factor since I was 60," Catherine says. "But they've been a big factor in my life." Now 75, she says "I haven't totally fallen apart yet." Nonetheless, she does need medications for heart, cholesterol and thyroid, to the tune of $500 to $600 a month; between $6,000 and $7,200 a year.
That's a lot of money, and Catherine has done what her mother did before her: stint on the daily dosage. Sometimes she will take four pills on a given day when six have been prescribed. Her mother used to reduce her intake by 50 percent, to make the pills last longer. "You just can't afford them," Catherine says.
She calls the Rx Express "an excellent idea," and not just because she is going to save some money on medications in Toronto. She thinks it is time that we "get the message out there that we need these medications." She also wants to highlight the moves the government can take to make prescription drugs more affordable, like instituting bulk purchasing.
"I'm sure they know we have limited incomes," Catherine says.