Juanita Barton is a retired museum coordinator from Mims, Florida who had her first heart attack in September of 2003 and then a second in September 2012, almost 9 years to the day. In 2014, Juanita’s physician prescribed Entresto, an effective but expensive drug to prevent more heart failure in the future. The drug costs Juanita $450 out of pocket every month.
Without this drug, Juanita is at increased risk for total heart failure, but affording the medicine every month is a challenge. Usually by August, she reaches the donut hole and rather than pay $450 a month, she has to pay more than double that amount out of pocket to get the medicine. Between food, utilities and other basics, Juanita’s limited Social Security income is stretched. It’s a relief that Medicare is planning to negotiate a lower price on this critical drug and that over the coming few years, it will become more affordable for Juanita and many others.