Opinion

Much of limited income spent on meds

I received a letter from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceutical Inc.

on Sept. 1, 1999, saying I have been approved to receive medication at

no charge through their Partners in Health Program, with medication to

arrive within three weeks. I was delighted. I am eligible for these programs

but sometimes they are too good to be true. In March I received another letter

from the same company stating that I was ineligible because the maximum

income [requirement] had been exceeded.

In January I received the notice from Social Security that I would

receive $722. That is my sole source of income. This is where it goes.

Trailer space rent, $225 a month; Puget Sound Energy, $150 a month in

winter months; Century Tel phone, between $10 and $15 a month; Rite Aid

Pharmacy for January, $111 and $51; for Feb., $127; for March, $61;

Albertsons pharmacy, $69. This averages $139 a month. This amount added to rent

and utilities is $529.

This leaves less than $200 for groceries, paper products, clothes,

stamps, around $50 a month at the Senior Center for hot lunches and foot

care (money well spent) and incidentals.

What should I leave out? The rent? I'll be evicted. The light bill? I'll

be without electricity. The groceries? I'll starve. Drug items? I would like

to leave them out because it is more profit for the greedy billion dollar

pharmaceutical conglomerates, with their headquarters in Switzerland,

Japan, and Germany. They aren't even American anymore. I wonder how much

they donate to political campaigns.

Marguerite Ensley

Carnation

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