Soaring Drug Prices Jeopardize Seniors

* Re "Rising Costs Jeopardize Drug Plans for Seniors," March 12: Is it any wonder that prescription drug prices continue to soar? As long as every medium is saturated with advertisements costing huge sums of money, the public will be saddled with paying the price.

Why is a media blitz needed? Doctors are courted and made aware of every advanced medication through professional journals as well as scheduled visits from well-trained detail people. No physician worth going to should have to be prodded into prescribing proper and helpful medications. In actuality, many doctors, for a multitude of reasons (patient pressure, for one), seem to overprescribe.

Since it was Congress that initially gave permission for this shameful state of affairs, it would seem that it could also make amends and undo it. Unless, of course, heavy lobbying and campaign-funding promises get in the way. Our elected "employees" don't need to worry about costs for their well-subsidized health care and retirement. But wouldn't it be nice if for a change they'd act unselfishly in our behalf?

ELEANOR JACKSON

Palm Springs

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I've heard for a long time how the exorbitant price of drugs is crippling senior citizens. But now I know it in fact--a whole new story that has my back against the wall. Recently, in my 80th year, I found myself having to fight a rather severe case of depression, a disease which now I know to be common among the old.

My problem is that one of the medications helping me the most would cost me $200 a month to have refilled. Another drug, my local pharmacist tells me, would cost $300 a month. To a person on a limited income this spells disaster waiting to happen, especially since my insurance carrier refuses to give me a prior authorization that could help in my emergency. Seemingly, a panel of experts who have never seen me has declared me cured.

EDWIN P. SCANLAN

Ojai

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