Brooke's Story: A Young Patient With Cancer is Fighting To Safely Access Her Medications As She Also Fights for Her Life

Fighting for her life, a cancer patient is left to sift through packages at a warehouse to find her life-saving medications that didn’t arrive on time.

Brooke is a young beautiful college student who is fighting a battle with cancer and the pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) to safely and time efficiently obtain her life-saving medications. The PBM spent 2 months denying the medication that her physician believed would be best for her condition. Once received, the medication ended up not working. Although, there was no way to predict this without trying. She spent two more months waiting for approval for the next medication. While in those delays she went into renal (kidney) failure from such severe progression of disease. Another time, she experienced a delay in getting her life-saving medication, She drove 30 mins away to a shipping center. It was a literal warehouse. She had low lung functioning. She states she was sent all around the warehouse looking for the package of medications she needed to fight for her life.

Brooke and a child cancer patient also had a similar experience where they are at the hospital and ready to begin the infusion, but then, the staff realizes that the medication that must be shipped from the PBM’s affiliated mail order pharmacy has not arrived at the hospital. This same medication was in the hospital pharmacy, but they couldn’t use that one. Instead they would have to delay their child’s cancer treatment for another 2 days.

Please just pause for a minute and think if these stories were the story from you or your loved ones.  Think about Brooke fighting cancer going through packages or the mother of the child awaiting life saving medications. What if these were your children, your life, your loved one? What would the each minute of the delay and interruption of cancer patient feel like?

Is this the future of pharmaceutical care that you want for your child, for you, or your loved one? Pharmacy benefit managers are among the wealthiest corporations in our nation. There is not a reason for this minimal standard of pharmaceutical care.