I have seen first hand how critical the healthcare crisis is. Unfortunately, mental illness runs in my family. Two of my relatives are on the antipsychotic drug, Zyprexa. This is truly a miracle drug, and it suppresses psychotic symptoms – completely, in some cases.

My older relative is on Medicare and a Medicare Supplement. She is in the “donut hole,” and now has to pay $430 for a month’s supply of the pills. My younger relative had a devestating mental breakdown when he was 18, and has been on Zyprexa ever since. Because he also suffers from anxiety, he takes two pills per night. He has done very well on Zyprexa, and is an honor student in college. He has been symptom-free for five years. However, now that he turned 23, he is no longer covered by the family’s insurance and must pay over $1,000 per month for his Zyprexa.

It doesn’t seem fair that people who suffer from mental illness and desperately need their medication in order to live a normal life are being discriminated against by insurance companies. Also, to charge $1,000 for a month’s supply of pills for any ailment strikes me as price gouging.

Sue Gunther