Drug Plan Gone Bad

April 21, 2006 -- 6:40 PM CST


JONESBORO, AR -- Mildred Lindley of Jonesboro had high hopes when she signed up for the Medicare Part D drug program, but those high hopes have turned to despair.


"I don't know what to do about it," said Lindley.   " I don't guess there's anything I can do about it."      


Lindley has taken Thalomid, a drug used to treat bone cancer, for three years.    She enrolled in the new prescription drug program two months ago and her medication was $40.  She went to Gibson’s Pharmacy Thursday, and the price increased to $1300.


"I wanted to cry and then I just thought well...I can't afford it. There's no possible way I can afford it," she said.    


Seventy-nine percent of Arkansans have enrolled in the new program, but Ken Gibson, pharmacist at Gibson’s Pharmacy said that several people have fallen into the doughnut hole.


"The doughnut hole is the gap between the first $2,000 that the government will help you with...and from $2,000 to $5,000, the customer’s responsible for 100 percent of the product," said Gibson.


Lindley has one dosage left of Thalomid that she’ll take Friday night before she goes to bed.


Since she can no longer afford her medication, all she can do is hope for a miracle.