This post is brought to you by SIRUM. All opinions are my own.
I’ll cut right to the chase, because time is limited. Right now, sharing your story by February 28th about a time that you had to leave your medicine at the counter of the pharmacy because you couldn’t afford it could help prevent that from happening to others in the future. How? Actually, it’s quite an awesome idea, and I’m really proud to be working on the campaign to support it.
Share Your Story to Help Millions of Americans Get Access to Medications
SIRUM is a service created by a team of Stanford grads that helps save lives by collecting unopened, unexpired medications from pharmacies, manufacturers and other facilities, then providing them to patients in need. SIRUM actually stands for “Supporting Initiatives to Redistribute Unused Medicines.” Did you know that $5 billion worth of medications are wasted every single year? These are often perfectly fine medications that could go to those in need. Why do so many facilities destroy these medications? Typically, because vague laws and lack of support from Congress for initiatives in place to redistribute them.
On March 8th, SIRUM will go to Congress and try to change this by asking for more support for their program. That’s where they need YOU!
Sharing your story by February 28th about a time that you couldn’t afford your medicine is VITAL to their mission. They need as many stories as possible to take with them when they approach Congress. You don’t have to leave your name if you don’t want to. You just have to answer a few questions. These include:
- Which health issues did you or your loved one have trouble treating due to the high cost of medicine?
- How else did not being able to afford medicine affect you or your loved one? (Health, finances, employment, etc.)
- Are there any other details you can share, such as the name of the medications, their cost, or anything else?
To inspire you, I’ll share a story of my own. When I was on state insurance, cough medicine was NOT covered for anyone over age 18. Basically, if your lungs were drowning in fluid, too bad. So sad. We’re not covering it. I didn’t find that out until I had horrible bronchitis and my doctor prescribed two different types of cough medicine. One was a liquid, one was a gel capsule. When I got to the pharmacy, I found out that neither were covered.
I ended up crying in the middle of the pharmacy. I just stood there bawling, because I was so sick and didn’t know what to do. I was so broke at that time that any unexpected cost was too much. I couldn’t get them. I pretty much just suffered, taking way more over-the-counter medication than I should have. That’s a big problem when people can’t afford the medications they NEED. They self-medicate with what they have. Very dangerous.
My story is mild compared to many others. I lived with a bad cough for a week. Some people have to leave life-saving medicine behind because they can’t afford it. Some people live in pain for years because they can’t afford medication. Even with all the health care reform and the Affordable Care Act, there are many medications that either aren’t covered or are capped at a certain number of doses per month.
SIRUM really is a wonderful organization. They’re non-profit and passionate about getting medications to those who need it. They’re not asking for money, just a few minutes of your time. If you have a story about a time when you couldn’t afford your medication, PLEASE share it with them by February 28th. If you know anyone else with a story, pass this along and have them share it.