Susan's Story - California Drug Price Relief

“I have legal guardianship over (and am raising) my two grandchildren. The only income my husband and I have is social security and a small state stipend. My granddaughter, who just turned 8, has scarring on her cornea and is under the care of a pediatric specialist. She has been prescribed Restasis eye drops twice daily in both eyes and has been using them for approximately two or three years now. The cost for each prescription is approximately $470.00. While I was working I used an HSA to pay, but, now that I am retired and the kids and I have state insurance, Restasis is not covered, so we have to pay cash. The company that makes Restasis does have a program for low income people that I applied to for Zoe to receive the prescription for free. Although we met the income levels and everything else, we were told that since Zoe is under 16 she does not qualify for help with her prescription. This seems like age discrimination against a child. Seems like anyone of any age who qualifies for the assistance program should receive help but yet again there is a loophole to fall through. $470.00 per prescription on social security is a real hardship but something that we just have to do to maximize Zoe’s eye health. This will be an ongoing issue for use as she grows up, as her scarring will be there forever.”